Trinidad’s Republic Bank cuts US$ credit card limit in half


(Trinidad and Tobago Guardian) T&T’s largest bank, Republic Bank Ltd (RBL), last night advised its customers that it was cutting in half the maximum US dollar spending limit per billing cycle on their Republic Bank credit cards.

In an email notice to its customers, which was reproduced on its website, RBL advised that the US-dollar credit card limit would be reduced from US$10,000 to US$5,000 effective September 21, 2023. The reason for the reduction in the US-dollar credit card limit, which is until further notice, was not provided in last night’s communications.

In its emailed notice, RBL said: “This change includes all transactions conducted outside of T&T as well as all international online transactions, including transactions where the chosen billing currency is TT dollar.

“These online transactions will be included in your US$5,000 billing cycle limit. All local TT-dollar transactions conducted online or at merchants remain unaffected.

Additionally, RBL said the limit on its pre-paid VTM card would be adjusted downwards effective October 1, 2023. The maximum VTM card balance will be reduced from US$5,000 to US$3,000 while online VTM loads would be reduced from US$1,000 to US$500.

Last night, the decision by Republic to limit the amount of money that can be spent on foreign goods and services was bitterly criticised on WhatsApp groups.

On July 21, RBL increased the daily transaction limit for point-of-sale and e-commerce transactions from $10,000 to $50,000.

The bank said that that meant that transactions done at point-of-sale terminals and via e-commerce, when added together can be as high as $50,000.

“For example, if a point-of-sale transaction is $10,000, then an e-commerce transaction can be as high as $40,000,” the bank said in a notice.

For the nine months ended June 30, 2023, Republic Financial Holdings Ltd (RFHL), which is the parent company of Republic Bank Ltd, recorded profit attributable to its shareholders of $1.26 billion, which was 10.2 per cent more than it earned for the same period in the previous financial year.

RFHL operates throughout the region from the Cayman Islands in the north to Suriname in the south and in Ghana.

The bank holding company’s assets totalled $114.4 billion as at June 30, 2023.

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