Some weeks ago FBC was forced to walk back on its plan to charge customers an annual fee of $15 USD on individual prepaid MasterCard accounts and $20 on business accounts. It seems the company did not learn from that incident, yesterday they send a cryptic message to customers suggesting they FBC will start charging customers when they deposit USD to reload their MasterCards.

The cryptic message

We advise that the charges for Telegraphic Transfers and MasterCard reloads, funded by USD cash deposits, have been reviewed to match the cash repatriation costs.

FBC’s SMS to customers

With the RBZ busy chasing after illegal forex dealers banks have been left to their own devices for the most part and it shows. Not only is this message cryptic it is as vague as they come. That a bank actually sent this to it’s customers without even a link to a page that explains in the Queen’s English what this all means its pretty shocking and appaling.

What the bank says about this

We have gotten in touch with the bank ourselves and are awaiting a response in English because the message above doesn’t really say what the bank is going to be doing with cash deposits and Telegraphic Transfers. We still haven’t received a response. In the meantime one customer got in touch and got the following response:

Good day. It means telegraphic transfer charges have been increased and MasterCard reload is now associated with a charge

A more clear message.

Why on earth didn’t FBC just send out a message like this is a question only they can answer. While it’s a bit clear on the bank’s intentions it does not explain whether the bank has raised charges on incoming or outgoing transfers nor has the bank given out the new charges.

Instead of causing unnecessary anxiety the bank should have taken the time to communicate in less vague language. In addition they should have just given us the increases. I guess they are embarrassed they are raising the price of something whose cost is usually paid in USD.

Also charging customers for deposits is probably going to again mean them losing customers especially if the deposit fee is high. When it comes to these cards the competition is high as almost every bank has it’s own similar card. Unless this new charge is agreed on by all the other banks that is. Currently all the other banks do not charge a fee for deposits.

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