Thu | Jul 9, 2020

Letter of the Day | Elderly thrown to the wayside by the banks

Published:Tuesday | June 2, 2020 | 12:11 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

THE NOVEL coronavirus (COVID-19) has suddenly encompassed our planet with disease, death, fear and depression.

It has also given the opportunity for the banks to seize this opportunity to further add to our chaos and distress by suddenly withdrawing certain services that had become commonplace to all users of banks in Jamaica.

The front runner in this act of confusion is the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS). They have declared a war on cash and cheques. If you find yourself with a lump sum of cash from a recent partner draw, may God help you.

We work in labour-intensive farming and animal rearing. We pay in cash, and we collect cash. A BBC news broadcast in the month of May stated that 1.7 billion people in the world use cash.

All these people are not scammers or drug traders, and we can’t all be shoved into an ATM overnight. Chaos results when doctors whose time should be spent with the sick are crowded together on a hot, dusty pavement all trying to use the ATM. Not enough time was spent showing people how to use these machines. There are people who are more versed in the use of ATMs for devious purposes and could wipe out your whole life savings. BNS states that it would take 120 days to be reimbursed, but I have acquaintances who have either waited six months or just did not get their money back.

The bankers are more afraid of COVID-19 than the people who get herded out like cattle; after they have used our money to quote $3 billion profits.

Most elderly people are not good with electronic banking and would still like to maintain some privacy from their younger relatives. They have worked all their lives and contributed to the bank’s development, only to have the bank doors shut in their faces.

DR JENNIFER BENT-SALKEY

Kingston