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SBV tells banks to stop ATM fee hikes - report

27-05-2018 23:59

Robot Trading

Some commercial banks are told to stop hiking ATM cash withdrawal fees – PHOTO: THANH HOA

HCMC – The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), or the central bank, has told commercial banks to stop hiking ATM cash withdrawal fees as multiple banks have been rushing to revise up ATM card and Internet Banking service charges.

News website BizLIVE on May 9 quoted a source from the central bank as saying that currently there is a fees framework set by the central bank, so banks can use it as a basis to decide their own fees.

But for any fee adjustments, banks should look into the interests of customers to ensure a balance between the two sides.

Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) and Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) have adjusted up transaction fees for ATM and Internet Banking services.

BIDV has hiked its ATM cash withdrawal fee to VND1,650 per transaction, with value-added tax included, for each transaction in its system since May 4.

The new fee is VND550 higher than before and this is the same hike as Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank).

VietinBank has also revised up its transaction fees to VND2,200 for debit cards and VND1,650 for C-Card and S-Card from the previous VND1,100. The new fees, including value-added tax, have been in force since May 5.

Agribank has sent a notice on the most recent service fee hike to its ATM card holders. For example, the cash withdrawal fee, plus value-added tax, in the same-bank system will rise to VND1,650 per transaction from the current VND1,100 from May 12.

VND1,100 per transaction has long been the standard cash withdrawal fee for ATM users, which is below the upper cap of VND3,300 allowed by the SBV, according to Agribank.

The fee hikes by local banks are done as planned, said Dao Minh Tuan, chairman of the Vietnam Bank Card Association, at a banking forum held in Hanoi on May 8 by the Saigon Times Group.

The central bank’s Circular 35, which came out in 2012, allows banks to collect ATM fees from March 2013. The maximum fee of VND3,300 for each transaction has been permitted since 2015 but most banks have kept their fees at either VND1,100 or VND1,650.

Tuan said some banks have even suggested charging VND7,000 on each cash withdrawal from ATM.

Tien Phong Bank and Baovietbank allow their customers to withdraw cash from their domestic ATMs at no charge.

Enterprises complain about higher fees

Enterprises have bemoaned the recent hikes in ATM card and Internet Banking service charges, Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reports.

The fee for SMS banking service at VIB has increased from VND50,000 to VND200,000 a month. VIB also monthly charges VND1 million on Internet Banking service, up from VND350,000, and requires a minimum balance of VND1 million in a customer’s account.

In addition, VIB collects VND500,000 for a monthly deposit account management fee from special customers.

VIB applies the new fees to enterprises with fewer transactions than the minimum level regulated by the bank. Therefore, the number of enterprises influenced by the new fees is small, the bank was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

Many other commercial banks have also raised their service fees for individual customers. Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) from May 12 will adjust up the ATM cash withdrawal fee from VND1,100 to VND1,650 per transaction, including value added tax. The fee for inter-bank transactions has also risen 0.05% to at least VND8,000.

Vietnam Export Import Commercial Bank (Eximbank) has increased its Internet Banking service fee to VND11,000 a month.

In March, Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) revised up its SMS Banking service fee from VND8,800 to VND11,000. Besides, customers have to monthly pay VND5,500 for each money transfer of more than VND50 million among Vietcombank account holders and VND2,200 for account management.

According to banks, the fee hike is aimed at offsetting costs for ATM and e-banking development and encouraging customers to use non-cash banking services.

Many customers have complained that despite the higher fees, the quality of banking services has remained unchanged.

Revenues and profits from service fees of many banks have soared.

According to a report on the financial market last year by the National Financial Supervisory Commission, banks’ net revenue from services grew 34.7%.

Many banks like Vietcombank, VietinBank, BIDV, Techcombank and Sacombank reported profits from services exceeding VND1 trillion.

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