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Keep ATM fees reasonable, BSP tells banks

By: - Reporter / @daxinq
/ 05:11 AM August 05, 2019

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has reminded the country’s banks to charge “reasonable” rates for transactions on automated teller machines, after regulators lifted last year the moratorium on ATM fees that had been in force since 2013.

In a memorandum to all BSP-supervised financial institutions, the central bank ordered that “appropriate disclosures on ATM fees and charges should be provided to the cardholders.”

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

The moratorium on fees was imposed by the BSP a few years ago amid complaints by ATM users of “unreasonable” fees being charged by certain banks for ATM transactions. The banking industry defended these fees as being the price needed to support the provision of these conveniences.

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In issuing the latest reminder on ATM charges, the central bank stressed that financial institutions may charge rates at their discretion, as long as they are justifiable under prevailing rules.

“While the BSP does not directly intervene in the prices of financial institutions’ products and services as a matter of policy, the [banks] are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure adherence to the principles of reasonable and market-based pricing,” Fonacier said.

The BSP said banks wanting to adjust their ATM fees should file a letter request with the regulator.

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