Bank fees to come under greater scrutinity from parliament

LBC
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Commercial banks are expected to soon face strong Parliamentary challenges to the fees they impose on customers for various services.

A Bill seeking to make legislative changes which limit how they operate is set for debate next week.

The Bill was introduced by Fitz Jackson, Member of Parliament for St. Catherine Southern, in a push to amend the Banking Services Act.

The proposed amendments were drafted after consultations which involved members of both sides of the House of Representatives, the banking industry and other stakeholders.

Mr. Jackson stated that the recommendations were drafted following consultations between both sides of the House, so there should be a unified position taken to make the amendments.

He was positive that there would be strong support for the amendments and that the stage would be set for the elimination of certain fees, since Member of Parliament Karl Samuda and current National Security Minister Robert Montague were part of the team that made the recommendations.

“If the government does not support it and cause it to (come into) being, it would be an indictment on them, as it would be on all of us members of parliament,” he declared on RJR’s Beyond the Headlines on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Mr. Jackson added that the Government of Jamaica has a duty to intervene in the current situation, despite the principle of the free market economy. He cited the imposition of fees to en-cash cheques as particularly unfair.

“They (citizens) are giving you (banks) their money for you to make a profit from and you are charging them to give you their money to (provide) you that opportunity, and we stand witness over that as a State and do nothing?” he questioned.

He is adamant that this is one of the charges which must be revamped

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