Senate panel eyes probe into ATM fee hikes

MANILA The Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies is eyeing to conduct a hearing on the plan to increase the fees for automated teller machine (ATM) transactions.

In a statement on Thursday, Senator Grace Poe, panel chair, warned that an increase in bank charge is disadvantageous to an estimated 4.1 million minimum-wage earners, who receive their salaries through ATM cards and withdraw from these machines at least twice a month.

Poe was reacting to reports that several banks have applied for higher ATM fees, between 36 percent to 50 percent, after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) lifted the moratorium on ATM fee increases.

Currently, bank charges range from PHP10 to PHP15 for interbank withdrawals and PHP2 for interbank balance inquiry.

"Kung tutuusin, para tayong nagpapahiram ng pera sa bangko kapag itinatabi natin ito sa ATM. Kung nagwi-withdraw tayo, kinukuha lang natin kung ano ang atin (If anything, we are effectively lending money to the bank if we keep our funds in ATMs. So if we withdraw money, we are just getting what is already ours), Poe said.

Bakit ang laki ng kaltas sa bawat transaction, tapos may hiling pang dagdag ngayon? (So why is there a demand for the bank charge to be increased when the current cost is already high for each transaction?)," she added.

The senator noted that the BSP would also be asked about its next course of action after the moratorium on ATM fees lapsed. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

Related posts