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CODE OF BANKING PRACTICE - February 12, 2001


Preamble

The Code of Banking Practice (the Code) seeks to foster good relations between Banks and their Customers (as defined below) and to promote good banking practice by formalising standards of disclosure and conduct which Banks that adopt the Code agree to observe when dealing with their Customers.


Objectives - The Code is intended to:
i describe standards of good practice and service;
ii promote disclosure of information relevant and useful to Customers;
iii promote informed and effective relationships between Banks and Customers; and
iv require Banks to have procedures for resolution of disputes between Banks and Customers.

Principles - These objectives are to be achieved:
i having regard to the paramount requirement of Banks to act in accordance with prudential standards necessary to preserve the stability and integrity of the banking system in Trinidad and Tobago;
ii consistently with the current law and so as to preserve certainty of contract between a Bank and its Customer; and
iii so as to allow for flexibility in products and services and in competitive pricing.

Review

The Code shall be reviewed at least every three years in accordance with the Objectives and the Principles set out in this Preamble and having regard to the views of interested parties.


Staff Training

A Bank shall endeavour to ensure that its staff are aware of the provisions of this Code relevant to their duties and of the procedures for handling disputes with Customers of the Bank.


THE CODE - This Code is in three parts:
Part A Disclosures. This part describes the information which a Bank will provide to a Customer in respect of the Banking Services which the Bank offers to the Customer.
Part B Principles of Conduct. This part describes certain principles of conduct which a Bank will follow in dealing with its Customers.
Part C Resolution of Disputes. This part requires Banks to have dispute handling procedures.

1.0 DEFINITIONS AND APPLICATION

1.1 In this Code and the Preamble:

"Account" includes, amongst others, a cheque account or an account that can be accessed by a cheque.

"Affiliate" has the meaning set out in Section 5 of the Companies Act 1995.

"Bank" means a company licenced by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago to carry on the business of banking and business of a financial nature in Trinidad and Tobago that has adopted this Code.

"Banking Service" means a deposit, loan or other banking facility provided by a Bank to a Customer, but does not include a service in relation to a bill of exchange, a variation of a term or condition of a facility or a debt to a Bank that arises as a result of a withdrawal of more than the amount by which an Account is in credit without the approval of the Bank.

"Customer" means any small business or an individual, when that individual, whether alone or jointly with another individual, acquires a Banking Service which is wholly and exclusively for his or her private or domestic use.

"Small Business" means any business processing assets valued up to TT.$1,500,000 (excluding the value of land & buildings) at the time the subject of the complaint originated.

"Standard Fees and Charges" means fees and charges normally charged by a Bank to its Customers in respect of a Banking Service at a particular time.

"Terms and Conditions" means those terms and conditions specifically applied by a Bank to a Banking Service but does not include any other terms and conditions that may apply by operation of law.

1.2 This Code is to be read subject to the laws of Trinidad and Tobago.

1.3 From the date on which a Bank publicly announces that it adopts this Code:

a that Bank will be bound by this Code in respect of any Banking Service that Bank commences to provide to a Customer; and
b that Bank will be bound by this Code other than sections 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 7.1, and 15.1 to 15.4 inclusive in respect of any Banking Service it is then providing to any individual who would have been a Customer if this Code had applied at the time that individual first acquired that service.

Part A - Disclosures. This part describes the information which a Bank will provide to a Customer in respect of the Banking Services which the Bank offers to the Customer.

Part B - Principles of Conduct. This part describes certain principles of conduct which a Bank will follow in dealing with its Customers.

Part C - Resolution of Disputes. This part requires Banks to have dispute handling procedures.