Don't raise ATM fees, banks told
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has ordered banks not to proceed with their plans to increase interbank ATM transaction fees "pending completion of an industry-wide review of practices."
BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla, Jr. said the Monetary Board on Thursday, September 26, issued a resolution that required a study to determine whether banks are justified from raising ATM fees.
"We are instructing banks to maintain status quo in terms of services fees," Espenilla said in a text message to reporters.
"The study will cover a review of banks' disclosure practices, competition policy and consumer protection issues as they apply to ATM transactions," he said in a statement Thursday.
The country's biggest banks, including Metrobank, Security Bank and BDO, have announced they will be raising interbank ATM withdrawal fees citing need to cover higher operating costs.
The banking industry in the Philippines is deregulated, but the BSP's policy making body issues resolutions regarding monetary and other concerns.
Espenilla added that "while banks are entitled to cost recovery, this should be balanced with the interest of consumers."
The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) said banks will be meeting regarding this.
"The BAP will consult its members to arrive at a uniform concensus on the matter," BAP president Lorenzo Tan said in a text message.
He added: "each member bank will have its own particular justification in pricing of ATM services."
There are about 13,129 ATMs nationwide as of June. Of these, 7,724 are on-site or within the banks' premises, while 5,405 are off-site, mostly in malls or standalone locations. - Rappler.com