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Lawmaker urges BSP to defer ATM fee hike
“Our sense is, it might be more prudent to put off the effectivity of the new ATM charging model to spare Filipinos the aggravation, considering the extremely adverse economic backdrop of mounting joblessness and rising food prices,” Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. said yesterday.
STAR/File

Lawmaker urges BSP to defer ATM fee hike

Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - February 15, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) should be compassionate and not add to the burden of Filipinos, by suspending the implementation of its new policy where fees of automated teller machine (ATM) transactions will be increased by 63 percent, according to a lawmaker.

“Our sense is, it might be more prudent to put off the effectivity of the new ATM charging model to spare Filipinos the aggravation, considering the extremely adverse economic backdrop of mounting joblessness and rising food prices,” Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. said yesterday.

Campos maintained that this is a “bad time for banks to be nickel-and-diming pandemic-weary Filipinos,” referring to the BSP’s new policy issued in December last year and which will take effect on April 7.

The BSP, through Monetary Board Resolution 1680, approved the shift from issuer-based to acquirer-based ATM charging model effective on that date.

Under the new charging model, the bank that owns the ATM will be the one charging a fee for each withdrawal or balance inquiry. At present, the bank that issued the ATM card is charging the fee for each transaction.

Two big banks, acting as owners of over 6,700 ATMs, have already announced on their websites that effective April 7, they will be imposing a fee of P18 per withdrawal transaction on cardholders of other banks, up P7 from the P11 they are currently charging.

Other banks are expected to follow suit, unless the BSP suspends implementation of MB Resolution 1680, according to Campos.

“The banks can afford to keep their ATM charges at current levels,” Campos, a member of the House committee on banks and financial intermediaries, said.

“Right now, the government, including Congress, is working very hard to extend Filipinos every possible relief and spare them from more difficulties,” he added.

The lawmaker cited the passage by the House of a bill postponing the implementation of previously scheduled increases in the contributions of Filipinos to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and the Social Security System.

Campos also cited Speaker Lord Allan Velasco’s proposed Bayanihan 3 law, which seeks to provide an extra P420 billion, including wage subsidies for workers of small businesses, to help Filipinos recover from the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Philippine Statistics Authority had earlier reported that the inflation rate in January, driven by higher food prices, rose for the fourth consecutive month and exceeded the government’s two- to four-percent target band until 2024.

The consumer price index rose at a faster annual pace of 4.2 percent last month, its highest since the 4.4-percent inflation seen in January 2019, amid higher pork and chicken prices, the PSA said.

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