MANILA – Congress should investigate a “looming” increase in automated teller machine (ATM) fees after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas lifted a 6-year freeze adjustments, a lawmaker said Monday.
Some 4.1 million minimum wage earners are the "most vulnerable" since they withdraw their salaries via ATM, said Makati Rep. Luis Campos.
Campos filed a resolution seeking an investigation by the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries.
Banks can't raise ATM fees unilaterally and without the approval of the central bank, the Banking Association of the Philippines (BAP) said in a statement released Tuesday.
"We are worried that the forthcoming increases in ATM charges might harm consumers – the nation’s more than 58 million ATM cardholders," Campos said.
The BSP’s monetary board approved the lifting of the moratorium on ATM fees, according to a memorandum issued last July 19. The central bank ordered a status quo on such charges in September 2013.
To justify an increase in ATM fees, banks need to file a letter of request indicating the fees as well as costs incurred with respect to its ATM activities, according to the BSP.