Poe wants banks to justify plan to raise ATM fees
MANILA, Philippines — Banks should justify their plan to raise fees for automated teller machine (ATM) transactions, Sen. Grace Poe said on Sunday, as she reiterated that any proposed hike should not burden bank depositors.
Poe, chair of the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies, is set to preside over an inquiry on Monday into the proposed adjustment in ATM fees, which was met by opposition from workers’ groups and legislators.
“We recognize the convenience of ATMs and the need to keep them working, but any increase should be warranted and should not be too burdensome on the users, especially the workers,” the senator said in a statement.
She said the planned P15 increase in ATM fees already “means a lot to the minimum wage earners.”
Besides the ATM transaction charges, Poe said her committee would also review the other fees that banks and other financial institutions were collecting from their clients for cash withdrawals, money transfers and remittances.
In filing Senate Resolution No. 96, Poe said the rate adjustments for ATM withdrawals would adversely affect some 4.1 million minimum wage earners who “receive their salaries through ATM cards and withdraw from these machines at least twice a month.”
“The practice of imposing hefty bank fees, including ATM charges, is financially disadvantageous to our country’s more than 58 million ATM cardholders,” she said.
At present, ATM users can withdraw cash from their “mother banks” for free, but are charged P10 to P15 for interbank withdrawals.
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