Senator Aquilino Koko Pimentel III questioned the “wisdom and timing” of a leading banking institution’s announcement to impose new and increased fees on numerous customer transactions, calling the move “an uncaring corporate act to milk more money from the bank’s own customers.”
The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), the third largest bank in the country in terms of assets, announced on July 2 that it would be charging fees ranging from fifty to one hundred pesos for several types of over-the-counter deposits, withdrawals and check encashments.
The new rates shall be effective starting September 1, 2018.
BPI explained that cash deposits are free except in select inter-region transactions, which will cost P50. Passbook account withdrawals are free except in select inter-region transactions, which will cost P100. Over-the-counter withdrawals involving ATM accounts shall cost P100.
Passbook account withdrawals are free except in select inter-region transactions, which will cost P100. Over-the-counter withdrawals involving ATM accounts shall cost P100.
The bank has posted a full list of its fees and charges in its website. BPI further advised that customers can resort to online transactions and electronic channels to avoid payment of fees.
“What’s interesting is BPI’s explanation as to why they’re charging these new fees. The bank says it has not updated its fees for quite some time, and they are just aligning with industry practice,” Pimentel said.
“If it’s indeed an industry practice that almost every important cash and check transaction is now being charged, then we might have to investigate that so-called practice and question whether it’s beneficial to the economy. Why punish bank customers and burden them with all these fees when all they do is merely handle their own money? Ultimately, that’s a disincentive to banking.”
The senator likewise noted that P100 already represents one fourth of the minimum wage in many areas in the country.
P100 already represents one fourth of the minimum wage in many areas in the country.
“The BSP has obviously allowed these new rates. BPI can of course justify its fee imposition with all sorts of financial and business explanations, but what about the customer? The Senate needs to seriously look into this,” Pimentel lamented.