“ECCB Responds to Republic Bank Withdrawal Incident with Independent Audit”

ECCB Initiates Independent Audit Following Republic Bank (EC) Limited Transaction Delays

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has launched an independent audit in response to delayed e-commerce and point-of-sale transactions that affected numerous customers of Republic Bank (EC) Limited. The incident, which occurred on Monday, April 29, 2024, saw customers’ accounts debited for transactions dating back to 2022, causing distress and inconvenience across the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).

Approximately 12,112 customers in five ECCU member countries—Anguilla, Commonwealth of Dominica, Saint Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines—were impacted by the untimely processing issue, including staff at the ECCB itself.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the situation, the ECCB emphasized the hardship and anxiety experienced by affected customers, stressing the expectation for better service from Republic Bank as a licensed financial institution.

Republic Bank’s obligations to promptly debit customer accounts were underscored, with the ECCB highlighting the institution’s failure to meet its own standards, the ECCB Code of Conduct, and customer expectations. However, Republic Bank has pledged to address the issue by offering various forms of assistance to affected customers, including payment plans, fee reversals, and waived charges for certain services.

The ECCB, as the regulatory body, acknowledged customer concerns raised through social media and direct contact, emphasizing its commitment to pursuing the public interest within the confines of the Banking Act, 2015. While the current legislation limits the ECCB’s powers for market conduct, efforts are underway to amend the law and establish an Office of Financial Conduct and Inclusion.

In accordance with Section 60(7) of the Banking Act, 2015, the ECCB has notified Republic Bank of its decision to commission an independent audit of the situation. The findings of this audit will inform any additional actions deemed necessary by the ECCB.

Affected customers are encouraged to verify transaction accuracy, report inaccuracies or fraud promptly to Republic Bank, and communicate any difficulties in settling late debits.

The ECCB remains steadfast in its mandate to supervise all licensed financial institutions and ensure financial stability in the ECCU.

For further information, contact:

Shermalon Kirby
Director, Corporate Relations Department
Phone: (869) 465-2537 | Fax: (869) 465-9562
E-mail: info@eccb-centralbank.org

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