The information in this section aims to provide useful tips about the importance of consumer education and protection as well as understanding your options and knowing the right questions to ask companies such as banks, insurance agencies, insurance brokers, and advisors when using financial services.
If you are dissatisfied about the manner in which the Authority or its licensees has carried out their functions, see our Complaints Procedure.
In our efforts to help consumers make informed decisions during their banking transaction activities, The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority ("CIMA") has developed a summary list of common fees, some of which include cheque cashing, cheque deposits, cash withdrawals and deposits for account and non-account holders. Although retail banks (Category ‘A’ banks) are currently registered and licensed by CIMA, CIMA does not have the authority to control banking fees as such charges are commercially driven.
The document is updated each quarter and does not include all banking fees.
Retail Banking Fees - 1 May 2021*View
- Understand the terms and conditions of the credit card established by the institution.
- Study the credit card fee schedule and payment cycle in order to avoid late charges and penalties. A poor repayment history will have a negative impact on your credit record and it will be difficult to secure a loan in the future.
- Do not spend beyond your means.
- Examine the ATM machine to ensure no suspicious devices are installed.
- Criminals may use a skimmer device to steal the information on the magnetic strip on the back of the ATM card. This device is usually attached in the same position where the card is inserted.
- Another scenario illustrates criminals placing a small pinhole camera directly above the keypad which records the user’s PIN number.
- A fake keypad can be placed on top of the original keypad which stores the user’s PIN number.
- Do not take away banknotes and/or ATM cards left behind by someone else. Contact police or representatives from the institution.
- Count banknotes immediately after withdrawal. Don’t assume the ATM will automatically dispense the amount you specified.
- When going overseas, exchange currency at a bank or reputable currency exchange firm as ATMs abroad may include heavy withdrawal fees.
- Ensure your online transaction is done with a website whose address begins with: https://. The “s” means the site is secure and it is an indication that the vendor can be trusted.
- Do not use public computers in cafes/libraries to do business online.
- When using your personal electronic devices to pay bills, shop online, or access your bank account information, ensure that the necessary firewall security programs are turned on.
- Check your account settings on a vendor’s website as some vendors store your credit/debit card information automatically. In the event that a vendor is being hacked while your card information is stored, the hacker will most likely have access to your card details. Confirm with the vendor that your card data is not being stored.
Fraud and Scams
- Be aware of individuals who intentionally misrepresent well-known businesses or government agencies in an attempt to obtain and solicit money and/or personal information.
- Be extremely mindful of imposters who send you information saying that you’ve won the lotto or the sweepstakes. One of the ways in which people are scammed is by the imposters telling victims that in order to get their winnings; they must first pay a release fee.
- Another way in which people are swindled is by fake charities asking for donations. Before donating to any charity, contact the relevant national charities association to ensure that the particular charity is a registered organisation.
- Consider a savings account in a bank or a share account in a credit union. Saving money can help you achieve a number of goals as you move into adulthood.
- Having a job will enable you to save your own money. Regardless of the type of job, putting aside a small percentage of your income each month is beneficial.
- Identify your wants versus needs.
- Develop a positive relationship with your financial institution.
Middle Age Adults
- Set a monthly budget and stick to it. Developing a budget may be the mechanism that keeps you out of financial trouble.
- Have at least 6 months of your monthly income set aside for an emergency fund.
- If you find yourself in financial difficulty with regards to loans and mortgage payments, contact your financial institution immediately.
- Save as much money as you can to prepare for retirement.
- Speak with a reputable financial advisor to help you create a plan that can meet your financial needs during retirement.
- Calculate your income from savings, pension schemes and other investment structures.
- Pay off large debts before retirement to avoid loan payments being taken out of your retirement income.
- Reassess your insurance coverage. By the time retirement comes around your insurance needs may have changed and perhaps needs modification.
Losing your home is the last thing any homeowner wants to think about. However, by understanding the foreclosure process and what often leads to it, you can better position yourself to deal with potential problems that could impact your ability to service your mortgage and place your most valued asset at risk.
Foreclosure is a legal process that creditors use to satisfy your financial obligations to them. Not paying a debt, like a mortgage or second mortgage, can trigger a foreclosure. The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (“CIMA”) advises all individuals with a residential mortgage to take heed of the following:
- Recognise early signs of financial trouble – Serious illness, losing your job, going through a divorce are all unexpected traumatic events that could impact your ability to make your mortgage payment. It is important to act immediately and proactively seek a solution.
- Get in touch with your bank without delay – Banks don’t want your house, they want to help you keep it. Contact your bank at the first sign of financial difficulty to explore the options available to you. Even if you have not missed a payment, but are worried, now is the time to act.
- Prioritise your spending – Cut or reduce nonessential expenses such as vacations, cable TV, entertainment, spa and salon visits. Once you are back on your feet you can add some of these expenses back into your budget.
- Be organised – Open and respond to all notices; keep copies of everything; keep records of your last twelve payments on your mortgage; update your budget; keep your pay stubs.
- Understand your options – If you find yourself experiencing financial hardship during mortgage payments, be sure to discuss all available options with your bank such as: Can I restructure my mortgage to add missed payments? Do I have enough equity in my home to refinance my existing mortgage? Will the bank agree for me to pay a lower sum for a short period while I seek other options to bring my loan current? Should I sell my home? Can I rent my home and stay with a family member?
- Open and respond to all mail and communication from your bank – Your bank will help you keep your house if possible. Pay very close attention to all correspondence and communication from your bank and respond as soon as you can.
- Know your mortgage rights – Carefully review your loan agreement, research foreclosure laws and timelines and seek information on your bank’s policy on foreclosure.
- Commit yourself to the agreed plan with your lender – Work closely with your bank’s representative to ensure that you stay on course with your plan.
- Be proactive and get results – Everyone experiences difficulties at some point. Don’t let pride or fear stop you from seeking help and finding a solution that works for you.
For a list of frequently asked questions regarding home foreclosures, please refer to our General FAQs.
Insurance Preparedness for Hurricane Season
The hurricane season may be hard to predict, but it is not hard to prepare for it. Insurance plays a critical role in protecting you, your family and dependents from possible financial hardship after an event. It is important that you, as the policyholder, play your part to ensure that following a hurricane, the benefits you receive from your insurance policies are sufficient to address your needs.
You are encouraged to do the following:
- Ensure that your property and motor insurance policies are in-force or active. If your insurance policy is due to expire during the hurricane season, ensure you take note of the renewal date to make prior contact with your insurance company before the policy expires.
- Take time to find your insurance policy and read it. If you cannot locate your policy document, speak to your insurance company or insurance broker to obtain a copy. Familiarise yourself with the Terms & Conditions and Contract wording in particular, and ask your broker/insurance company to explain queries you may have.
- Ensure that you have the correct contact details for your insurance company on file so that you know how to contact your insurance company following a catastrophic event.
- Ensure that you understand how to file a claim with your insurance company and understand timelines within which a claim must be reported to your insurance company.
- Check the insurance cover provided and your sum insured! Seek advice from your broker and/or insurance company on the adequacy of the sum insured. Do NOT underinsure your property/motor vehicle. If your property/motor vehicle is underinsured, you will NOT receive the full value of your asset when claiming from the insurance company.
- If you have insured your property/motor vehicle for mortgage/loan purposes, be certain that it is insured at the correct value. Mortgage providers and lending institutions often only require insurance to cover their loan amounts and not the full rebuilding costs of a property or market values for your motor vehicle. You should therefore be aware of the risk of underinsurance (if your assets are not adequately insured) as following a hurricane event, this could result in your insurance benefits being insufficient to rebuild your home or to replace your vehicle to a similar state that was in effect prior to the hurricane event.
- Use licensed Insurance companies and Insurance brokers. A full list of CIMA licensed domestic Insurance companies and Insurance brokers can be found here.
72 hours prior to any expected event, insurance companies might not take on any new business or amendment to your existing policy. Do not wait until it is too late to protect your hard earned assets. Contact your insurance providers now!