Finance Minister Colm Imbert says he will be asking the banks to waive their service fee for changing the $100 bills, especially for elderly citizens, but noted that the state cannot compel them to do so by law.
The minister told Parliament this morning that under the current law the central bank is empowered to fix bank charges and fees with respect to loans, deposits and credit finances, but it does not apply to over the counter transactions.
He said they may need to consider changing that.
“This may require some reflection in the future, to see whether we should amend the law to give the Central Bank the power to fix fees for these routine transactions,” Minister Imbert said. “However, that could be construed as interference in the business of the banking sector.”
The finance minister said he has still asked the banks to relax or eliminate the standard fees they have for deposits and for changing of notes at this point in time.
He said those fees have been in existence for quite some time and not all banks are charging them.
“We will use suasion on the matter given the large number of transactions that are taking place,” he assures, “but it must be understood that this is an expense for the banks.”
Some banks have been charging up to $8 for the transaction, while others have not been applying any charges.
Story by NEWS DESK