Business World

Banks urged to hold off on hiking ATM fees, use excess capital to expand services


BANKS SHOULD USE their excess capital to expand their services instead of increasing fees for cash machine services, a lawmakers said, after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas tweaked its rules on fees this month.

Anakalusug­an party-list Representa­tive Michael T. Defensor said in a statement on Thursday that banks have surplus capital since automated teller machine (ATM) services have increased since the start of the coronaviru­s disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The banks should use some of their excess capital to enlarge their ATM networks instead of punishing cardholder­s with higher user fees to fund their expansion,” he said.

Mr. Defensor noted how one bank seems “awash” with capital, adding “it is paying out a record P18 billion in special dividends to shareholde­rs next month, even after setting aside P41 billion in reserves against potential bad loans.” —

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