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SBV directs banks to keep ATM cash withdrawal fee unchanged
Wednesday,  7/11/2018, 16:24 

SBV directs banks to keep ATM cash withdrawal fee unchanged

The Saigon Times Daily

A man is seen withdrawing cash from an ATM. This is the second time in the past two months that SBV has thwarted plans to raise the cash withdrawal fees at ATMs – PHOTO: VGP

HCMC – The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has asked commercial banks not to raise charges on cash withdrawals from automated teller machines (ATMs) after some banks announced their plans to hike the fees from the middle of this year.

Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank), Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank), Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank) and Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) had all announced plans to hike the ATM cash withdrawal fees by 50% to VND1,650 per transaction on their systems later this month.

This is the second time in the past two months that SBV has thwarted plans by banks to raise the cash withdrawal fees at ATMs. On May 9, the banks were instructed to cancel their plans for a fee hike following public opposition.

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

Meanwhile, many customers have complained that the quality of banking services has not improved, despite fee hikes.

An SBV representative told the Vietnam News Agency on Tuesday that the adjustment to ATM service fees comes under the banks’ right to exercise autonomy within the regulatory framework of the central bank.

However, the source noted that commercial banks should ensure transparency by seeking the consensus of customers as well as balance between the rights and interests of the two sides in any fee adjustments. If the fees were to be raised, the banks should guarantee better service quality, the source added.

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

Data from the Vietnam Banks Association show that the country has some 77 million banking cards of different types, including 70 million ATM cards. Notably, commercial banks have a large proportion of ATM cards, so adjustments in their service fees are likely to affect their own customers.

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