Republic Bank Agrees To ECCB Audit

(TT NEWSDAY) – REPUBLIC Bank Ltd (RBL) has acknowledged a recent issue affecting customers in the Eastern Caribbean (EC), where transactions were not debited from customer accounts in a timely manner.

In a statement on May 21, the bank expressed regret for the inconvenience caused by these late debits and told customers measures have been taken to prevent a recurrence.

To address concerns, RBL EC has agreed to a request from the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) for an independent audit.

The audit aims to verify that there are no systemic issues responsible for the delays in transaction processing.

RBL’s statement comes after its EC unit contended with unexpected withdrawals of sums the bank says represent unprocessed transactions dating back weeks, months or years in some cases.

When Newsday asked whether similar events have occurred in Trinidad and Tobago, RBL TT’s corporate communications officer Nadine Penny-Ravello said, “Per the statement, we cannot comment until the audit has been completed and the outcome advised.”

In 2023, RBL TT experienced a credit-card processing error affecting many merchants, including PriceSmart.

RBL president and managing director Nigel Baptiste described the matter as “regrettable.”

On April 29, RBL EC issued a statement blaming “technical issues stemming from our conversion exercise” for its failure to process previous point-of-sale and e-commerce transactions.

“The problem occurred following Republic’s acquisition of Scotiabank operations, when the banking systems were being converted.”

The bank said once the issue was discovered, it undertook a “thorough verification exercise, which involved careful identification of customer transactions.”

Each affected customer received “personalised communication…listing the relevant transactions to allow for a fully transparent approach,” according to the bank.

A statement released by the ECCB said, “We are informed that these transactions date as far back as 2022.”

The ECCB said an estimated 12,112 RBL customers in Anguilla, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines were affected by “this untimely situation.”

“This situation is downright unsatisfactory. Without a doubt, it has caused hardship and anxiety for many customers. The customers of Republic Bank and the ECCB, as a regulator, expect better from Republic Bank,” ECCB said.