BSP urged to stop interbank fund transfer fees amid pandemic

Advocacy groups are calling for compassion in the time of pandemic.

Infrawatch and Laban Konsyumer both called on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to stop the banks from restoring charges on money transfers starting next month, saying a little relief cold go a long way for millions struggling due to COVID-19.

“As the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas had rightfully intervened in setting interest rate ceilings in credit card transactions, it should similarly do the same for bank transfer fees,” Infrawatch convenor Terry Ridon said.

“Most importantly, the BSP should step in and suspend the return of bank transfer fees until the end of the public health emergency. If the smaller banks can do it, with more certainty can the bigger banks do it as well,” he added.

Laban Konsyumer said the fees should be waived until the end of the pandemic, which could take as long as September 2021.

“This is a response to relief measures that can benefit the general public and deepen the use of digital payments during the pandemic. Hopefully these companies can extend the waiver of fees, because right now we have to push for the use of digital payments now as part of a safe and convenient payment system,” said Vic Dimagiba of Laban Konsyumer.

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