Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 6th 2017 Contents news A9
Saturday, May 6, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Man jailed for six years
for warehouse theft
Errol Lochanwill spend the next
six years doing hard labour in
prison after he was found guilty
of breaking into a warehouse and
stealing $57,300 worth of items.
The 38-year-old man, who has no
fixed place of abode, admitted to the
offence when he appeared in the San
Fernando First Magistrates Court.
Prosecutor Cleyon Seedan said at
around midday on April 10, the owner
secured his warehouse and left. When
he returned at around 5 pm on April
24, hefound that a steel burglar proof
door had been pried open and several
air condition units, a battery, stereo
set, stainless steel utensils, a table
cloth set, aluminum, a black leather
bag, two lamps, two cordless phones
and copper wire missing.
PC Mohess conducted investigations
and met the accused at the San Fer-
nando Police Station last Wednesday.
When he was told about the inci-
dent, Lochan said, "Officer me and
Spanish break the place and white
boy sell all the things on the street."
Lochan claimed he was working as a
labourer and asked for a bond.He de-
nied he was a cocaine addict, claim-
ing he only smoked cocaine when his
In passing sentence, the magistrate
noted that Lochan had 17 previous
convictions for various offences, in-
cluding cocaine possession, larceny and
obscene language, committed over the
period of a year.
Banks not price fixing
Responding to public concerns
about high banking fees, president
of the Bankers' Association of T&T
(BATT) Anya Schnoor yesterday
gave the assurance that there is
no price collusion among banks.
Speaking before Parliament's Joint
Select Committee (JSC) on Finance and
Legal Affairs, she said fees and service
charges have been adjusted only three
times in the last ten years and took
place independently of each other.
"Charges and bank fees are deter-
mined by individual pricing consider-
ations which includes operating costs,
competitive product placement, influ-
encing customer behaviour, alternate
channels available and investment in
"Banks are not price fixing and fees
and charges are reflective of the cost
for providing the services," she said.
Schnoor said in some fee categories
there were no increases in the last ten
years since online and mobile services
She added that fees and charges
represent seven to 11 per cent of total
revenue for banks.
"The sector's profitability per cus-
tomer and per account has declined
over the last ten years and there are
many reasons for this, the primary be-
ing the tremendous operating costs in
all banks over the same period.
"Net interest margins in the banking
industry are at their lowest level in over
a decade. In all major loan categories
interest rates today are lower than they
were a decade ago," she said.
In addition to the eight commer-
cial banks operating in T&T, there are
other entities which provide financial
services, including credit unions and
insurance companies, she said, so
competition is fierce among all players.
She said commercial banks have kept
their fees at relatively competitive lev-
els compared to other regional banks.
Schnoor added that the banking
industry played a critical role in the
economic development of T&T and
over the past decade had provided
more than $4.6 billion in taxes to Gov-
ernment and more than $11.8 billion
in dividends to shareholders, the vast
majority of whom are residents of T&T.
"When we look at the GDP of Trin-
idad and Tobago, financial services is
perhaps the second largest contribu-
tor to GDP and consequently provides
significant tax returns for the country,"
"The health of the financial services
sector is therefore critical."
Schnoor assured depositors that
their money is safe and said stake-
holders also need not worry as banks
are "well-managed and adequately
capitalised" to meet any unforeseen
shocks which could impact on the vi-
ability of the industry.
Concerns were raised by committee
member Clarence Rambharat about the
efficiency of customer service.
Schnoor said while the banks may
not be able to get everything right all
the time, the industry pumped some
$900 million into technology to meet
the requirements of customers, es-
pecially those who preferred online
She said despite tremendous eco-
nomic challenges, banks collectively
increased spending by 20 per cent on
corporate social responsibility meas-
ures in the past three years.
Commenting on job losses in the in-
dustry, she said aggregate data showed
that over the last 10 years staff had in-
creased from 6,500 to 7,400.
BATT president tells JSC
BATT Tressurer, Karen Darbasie, left, President BATT, Anya Schnoor , centre and Vice-President BATT Nigel
Baptiste during the 7th Public Meeting of the Joint Select Committee on Finance and Legal Affairs. yesterday
PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
"Net interest margins in
the banking industry are
at their lowest level in over
a decade. In all major loan
categories interest rates
today are lower than they
were a decade ago."
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