ZUFIAW Welcomes Scrapping Of Bank Charges And Fees
Lusaka: We would like to support the directive by the bank of Zambia to prohibit commercial banks from charging customers unwarranted fees.
As a union, we have been alarmed by the introduction of many unreasonable charges which we believe are inimical to the socio-economic prosperity of the citizenry owing to lose of income to commercial banks. Further, these charges have been an affront to the spirit of financial inclusion as people tends to be hesitant to keep their money in commercial banks because of the charges on transactions.
“There are just too many charges on transactions. For example, it is illogical for a customer to be charged k50 for making an over-the-counter cash withdraw. Even at automated teller machines, you would find that every transaction costs k10. If a customer makes three transactions, they pay k30. This could be a reason why some people choose to keep their money at home”, says general secretary Mr. Chingati Msiska.
Whilst we note that the scrapping of these charges and fees could result in financial loss, the union however believes that the move will encourage financial institutions to be more robust in extending finance to the private sector.
In this respect, the union does not expect any loss of employment and ZUFIAW will therefore not entertain any institution that may use the action by the central bank as an excuse to throw workers out of work.
“We would like to be very emphatic that the union is following very closely the behavior of financial institutions. We will be very uncompromising on any institution that may make maneuvers towards downsizing. Instead, we would like to encourage them to focus their attention on their core mandate which is mobilizing savings, providing loans, and offering investment products to the market. This is what keeps financial institutions profitable and not bank charges”, says Mr. Msiska.
Further, we would like to encourage the central bank, as a regulator to ensure that commercial banks implement this directive in totality. We say this because experience has shown us that there is a tendency by institutions in this country to disrespect laws with impunity. A good example is continued casualisation of labour despite the law forbidding the practice.
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