No joke when entire life savings in an NCB cheque

TELL Claudienne

Sunday, January 21, 2018

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Dear Claudienne,

I recently owned Trinidad Cement ordinary shares which were listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE). However, I sold my shares to

Sierra's (Cemex) in the Take-Over Bid on January 9, 2017. During the process, the Jamaica Central Securities Depository Limited (JCSD served as the trustee and National Commercial Bank (NCB) as the payee.

In the month of February 2017, I received payment for my shares in Trinidad and Tobago currency from the Duke Street branch of National Commercial Bank (NCB). I took the cheque to the bank's Duke Street branch to be changed.

When I approached the teller she was very pleasant, but informed me that she was unable to change the cheque, and would hand it over to her supervisor.

The supervisor came and collected the cheque and asked me to wait a while, which turned out to be three hours. I had spent one and a half hours waiting in the line previously, so in all I spent four hours and thirty minutes in the bank.

After four hours and thirty minutes, the supervisor returned and informed me that the cheque could not be changed. She said that NCB did not trade in Trinidad and Tobago currency, so there was nothing she could do. She advised me to return the cheque to the JCSD, and I did as instructed. Upon taking the cheque to the JCSD, I was told to take it back to NCB which had issued the payment.

I became confused as I could not get my money, and both entities were blaming each other for the situation.

On March 9, 2017, I took the cheque back to the NCB Duke Street branch. I insisted that they change the cheque since it was issued by the bank. They took it from me but still refused to change it. During the months of April and May I made frequent trips to the JCSD to inquire about my cheque, but was told that NCB had not yet changed it.

During the summer of 2017, I called the JCSD about 50 times and was told that NCB had still not changed the cheque. But please also note that during July 2017 I wrote to the JCSD about 10 times, but they never replied.

I continued to visit the JCSD during the months of September, October and November 2017, only to be told that nothing had been done about the cheque.

At the time of writing to you (December 14, 2017), for approximately 10 months I have been asking NCB to change my cheque to no avail, as they continue to insist that they do not trade in Trinidad and Tobago currency. This is rather strange, as NCB issued the cheque in Trinidad and Tobago currency in the first place.

I would like to receive the payment for my shares as soon as possible.

It was my first time investing in the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), and the amount represents my entire life savings.

I would appreciate your urgent help in this matter.

— RR

Dear RR,

Tell Claudienne has been in communication with NCB about your issue, and we note that you received your money on January 17, 2018.

You told us that an NCB executive issued an apology to you, saying that when he saw the e-mail that you sent to the Tell Claudienne column he thought it was a joke. You said that he was very apologetic, and told you that what occurred should never have happened.

We received the following e-mail from NCB:

“Thanks again for bringing this issue to our attention. The matter has been resolved and the customer has received the funds. RR was also called and advised of same, and we communicated apologies for any inconvenience caused.”

We wish you all the best.

Have a problem with a store, utility, or company? Telephone 936-9436 or write to: Tell Claudienne c/o Sunday Finance, Jamaica Observer, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5; or e-mail: Please include a contact phone number.

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