Poe seeks probe into ATM fee hike

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 15 2019 08:01 PM

MANILA - Sen. Grace Poe has filed a resolution seeking to investigate the reported plan to increase fees for automated teller machine (ATM) transactions.

Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, said the planned increase would hurt minimum wage earners.

“[It] is disadvantageous to an estimated 4.1 million minimum-wage earners who would need to carry the burden of these fees as many of them receive their salaries through ATM cards and withdraw from these machines at least twice a month,” Poe said in a statement.

“The practice of imposing hefty bank fees, including ATM charges is financially disadvantageous to our country's more than 58 million ATM card holders.”

Reports said banks are seeking to increase interbank withdrawals by as much as 50 percent, or from a maximum of P15 to P30.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said the moratorium on adjustments in ATM fees has been lifted. But he added that an increase is not automatic since it has to go through the central bank anyway.

Sen. Lito Lapid called on the BSP to study the looming hike’s implications.

“Hiling ko po sa Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas na pag-aralang mabuti ang usaping ito at nawa’y isaalang-alang nila ang kapakanan ng ating mga mamamayan na pinakaapektado ng dagdag bayarin na ito,” he said in a statement.

(I ask the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to study well the proposal and take into consideration the welfare of the people who would be most affected by this additional expense.)