Banks hike cheque book fees

 

Commercial banks customers will have to dig deeper in their pockets to pay for a number of services on their accounts as some commercial banks have hiked their banking tariffs effective this January.

This could be a reaction to the directive by Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) to scrap off ledger fees on all savings accounts effective January this year, according to consumers rights activist John Kapito.

Published statements from FDH Bank, Standard Bank and National Bank of Malawi (NBM) have indicated various adjustments on their services.

Kapito: Look at whole buildup

For instance, NBM customers will now have to pay K16 000 for a cheque book, up from K12 800 last year, according to a published statement from the bank.

FDH Bank current account customers seeking bank cheques will now pay K16 900, a rise from K13 000 last year. For a 50-paged cheque book, the customers will pay K6 800 from K5 200 last year.

The bank’s customers with savings accounts will continue to pay services fees.

Standard Bank customers will now pay K100 instead of K75, while customers with unpaid cheques will pay a fine of K35 000, an increase from K30 500 last year.

Bank charges remain prohibitive to most customers and have turned away a number of people from banking.

RBM spokesperson Mbane Ngwira in an interview on Tuesday said the central bank is still discussing with the banks on the modalities of re moving ledger fees on other accounts to enhance financial inclusion.

In an earlier interview, executive director of Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) John Kapito urged the central bank to review all charges.

“RBM should look at the whole build-up of bank charges because the whole structure charges does not make sense,” he said. n

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