Duke hits FCB’s banking policies

In the PSA’s latest development, Duke, in an interview yesterday, chastised First Citizens Bank (FCB) on Independence Square, Port-of-Spain, for not having proper banking policies to protect against fraud. On Thursday, Duke withdrew a large sum of money from First Citizens, one of the PSA’s approved banks, after he claimed a dissident member wrote a letter to the bank leading to the bank’s closing the account without proper consultation with Duke and members of his executive.

 

Controversy has been on-going in the PSA since the five per cent agreement was signed with the Chief Personnel Officer in April. Duke said the majority of the money in the First Citizens’ account, which amounted to about $4 million, was withdrawn and placed into another account at RBC, a short distance from First Citizens. He said “a few thousand dollars” was left in the First Citizens account “to settle outside cheques.” Duke said: “We closed the FCB account and we put money in RBC. We felt the bank (FCB) was susceptible to serious fraud.  They had no real, proper principles to protect PSA against fraud.”
Duke said the letter was written by a suspended member. He said “for years” the PSA had been doing business with FCB and chastised the organisation’s banking policies.

 

Duke added: “We spoke to management at FCB and told them we want all our money and we left.” The PSA’s constitution stated the General Council shall be the finance committee and shall be constituted as such whenever it met, it was noted.

The constitution states the bankers of the association shall be any bank approved by the General Council. It stated: “Cheques and other orders for withdrawals from any banking account of the association shall be signed by the president and the treasurer or any one of the following officers: “The first vice-president; the general secretary, the deputy general secretary and either of the trustees.” Duke refused to give the number of banks associated with the PSA.

He said despite the ill-intentions of a minority, membership was the PSA’s focus. “At the end of the day, our members remain priority,” he added. He said the PSA would continue to fill vacancies in the Public Service which amouned to 11,000, about 4,000 on the regional health authorities and 700 in the Water and Sewerage Authority.

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