Pubdate: Wed, 21 Sep 2016
Source: Penticton Herald (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers
Author: Bruce Smith
Page: A9


Dear Editor: The Royal Bank of Canada has stated its policy on 
industries or businesses which deal with products involving marijuana. 
The bank has stated that it will not loan money to any company or 
business which deals with marijuana.

The rationale the bank gives for this policy is that is too much of a
financial risk for the bank to undertake. This comes on the eve of
marijuana becoming legalized in Canada and flies in the face of all
the evidence which states that marijuana is a very useful medication
for thousands of Canadians.

It is, in fact, already used legally by many who have a physician's
permission to do so.

The bank usually loans money based on the merits of an individual
project. It does not often, to my knowledge, deny a loan based solely
on a blanket policy.

It appears that this "no marijuana" policy is a social statement. It
is the bank trying to tell the public what is socially acceptable. I
phoned the bank using a number found on their website and was told
that my complaint would be passed up the ladder. I also told the
person taking my complaint that I would take my business to another
bank if the policy was not changed.

I was then told that the bank may change its policy if enough people
complained. If you think that RBC should not dictate social behaviour
to its customers please lodge a complaint.

I am not a marijuana user and have been a loyal RBC customer for more
than 50 years so I have no axe to grind. I just do not think the bank
has any business in the social engineering business and that their
policy is hypocritical at best as it surely will change when the bank
sees that the lure of the money to be made from marijuana outweighs an
outdated social stance.

Bruce Smith

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