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Solons want Congress to regulate ATM transaction fees

/ 04:37 PM August 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Bayan Muna Reps. Carlos Zarate and Ferdinand Gaite are set to refile a bill regulating fees of automated teller machine (ATM) transactions.

The lawmakers said this Tuesday, as the moratorium imposed on increasing ATM fees by the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has been lifted.

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In the 16th Congress, Bayan Muna filed House Bill No. 2105 to counter the increasing ATM charges but nothing happened to the bill, according to the congressmen.

READ: ATM fee hike looms; House inquiry sought

Zarate said a review on disclosure requirements to consumers and the actual costs incurred by banks should be shown to consumers before any talk of fee increases.

“Mukhang tataas na naman ang sisingilin mula sa atin sa paggamit ng ATM pero ang mga bangko naman talaga ang kumikita dito mula pa dati at pera natin ang ginagamit nila. Ngayon eh tataasan pa nila ang kinukuha sa atin. Dapat talaga ay tignan na agad ito ng Kongreso para makita kung totoo ang sinasabi ng mga bangko,” he said in a statement.

Gaite, meanwhile, asked BSP to explain the looming ATM fee increase.

For his part, Surigao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Johnny Pimentel reminded banks that the cash being withdrawn from their ATMs are coming from their depositors.

“We must remind banks that the cash being withdrawn from their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) is money that they borrowed from depositors. This is why banks are paying interest on deposits,” Pimentel said, as he backed calls for a House inquiry into the ATM fee increases.

READ: Lawmaker seeks inquiry into looming ATM fee hike 

“Offhand, we see no justification for banks to impose ATM charges in excess of the P10 to P15 that they are currently collecting per single interbank withdrawal transaction, considering that depositors are merely taking money that they lent to the bank,” Pimentel pointed out.

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Pimentel also urged the House committee on banks and financial intermediaries to find out “exactly where these ATM charges go” and why BSP decided to remove the 2013 moratorium on ATM fee increases.

On July 19, BSP issued Memorandum No. M-2019-020, “Lifting the Moratorium on Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Fees.”

Banks had wanted to jack up their ATM charges by as much as 50 percent before BSP enforced the moratorium in 2013, according to Makati City 2nd District Rep. Luis Campos Jr., who likewise sought a House inquiry into the issue.

BSP earlier reminded banks to impose “reasonable and market-based” pricing on new ATM transaction fees.

“The amount to be charged to a cardholder should be clearly displayed on the ATM location and on the screen of the ATM terminal. The notice should clearly indicate that the amount displayed is on top of the charges that may be imposed by the card issuer,” BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said in a memorandum to banks.

READ: Keep ATM fees reasonable, BSP tells banks

/kga

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