RBC Bank refuses liability for late Netbank payment

POSTED: 03/10/16 6:53 PM

St. Maarten News – Dentist doctor George Scot – father of the former director of the St. Maarten Medical Center – is upset with the RBC Royal Bank over a transaction that went wrong and that cost him around $5,000. The bank refuses to take responsibility for the mistake.

On October 13 of last year, Scot’s son executed a payment from his current account to the account of his father through the RBC Netbank service. That transaction stalled because the amount was over the Netbank limit.

There was another issue too: Scot Jr.’s current account was blocked because he was behind with his mortgage payments.

“Those payments were made on October 8, Scot Sr. says. “So there was no reason to block that account.”

Around October 15, Scot sr. says that he went to the bank to solve these issues. “I spoke with customer service officer Fons O’Connor and he said he would unblock the account.”

There was some urgency in play because Scot Sr. was due to make a payment before the end of October. Timely payment came with a discount of around $5,000.

According to a letter the bank sent to Scot Jr. in January 27, an internal request to unblock the current account was sent on October 29, fourteen days after Scot Sr. discussed the issue with customer service. On November 3, the transaction finally went through.

“By then it was too late and I missed the discount on my payment,” Scot Sr. says. But when he wanted to hold the bank responsible, he hit a blank wall.

“The Netbank transaction was delayed due to the fact that your limit had to be increased,” the bank wrote to Scot Jr. “The client should be aware what his transfer limit on Netbank is; this is not a shortcoming by the bank.”

The Netbank limit was increased on October 29; then an internal investigation found that Scot Jr.’s current account was blocked because of arrears on his mortgage.

“That is not possible,” Scot Sr. says now. “The mortgage payments were made in full on October 8.”

When the transaction finally went through in November 3, Scot Sr. was puzzled by the statement he received. It simple read: transfer, followed by the amount, and the remark ‘experiencing Netbank issues.”

“It did not say where the money was coming from,” Scot Sr. says. “I initially did not dare to touch it. If it had come from my son’s account it should have said so on the bank statement. So where did that money go in the meantime?”

The bank has washed its hands off the dispute in its January 27 letter: “The risk of not being able to make a payment before a certain deadline lies with the client since there are alternative means of payment other than relying only on a Netbank payment. We finally note that based on our general terms and conditions the bank is not liable for any consequential loss.”

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