A congressional leader on Monday urged the country’s biggest banks to defer re-imposing fees for online fund transfers “at least until the end of the year.”
“The pandemic is not yet over and a lot of people are still suffering from its effects, thus it is only proper for these banks to continue providing relief to their distressed clients by extending their waiver of fees for online fund transfers,” Deputy Majority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera said.
Quoting the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Herrera said only eight banks have agreed to suspend the fees on the use of both Instapay and PESONet until Dec. 31, while 10 other banks, mostly among the largest in the country, are waiving the fees only by Sept. 30.
The Bank of the Philippine Islands had formally announced that starting Oct. 1, it will resume imposing the P50 service fee for fund transfer to other banks done through its mobile app.
Other banks reimposing interbank fund transfer fees by Oct. 1 are BDO Unibank Inc., Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., Bank of the Philippine Islands, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., China Banking Corp., China Bank Savings, Bank of Commerce, Robinsons Bank, Philippine Savings Bank, and Philippine National Bank.
On the other hand, the BSP said Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines, Union Bank of the Philippines, Asia United Bank, Security Bank Corp., Sterling Bank of Asia, Standard Chartered Bank, and Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corp. have agreed to suspend fund transfer fees until Dec. 31.
“If smaller banks can afford to forgo income from fund transfer fees, I don’t see any reason why large banks could not do the same,” Herrera said.
Herrera said that suspending online banking fees and charges is the right thing to do during this time where social distancing and digital transactions are encouraged.
“Small things like temporarily waiving fees for digital fund transfers help ensure more people do online transactions when people are staying home and social distancing is encouraged,” Herrera said.
“It is also a small gesture to help in time of economic distress,” she added.