Gordhan: Banking fees must be lowered

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday that some of the fees charged by banks must be lowered.

He was addressing a media briefing in Pretoria following his meeting on Monday with the chief executives and chairpersons of banks.

“Fees charged must be lower than they are, whether for low-income or high-income accounts.
Debit-order cancellations must be made easy for people. Banks should detail ATM charges and be transparent on how much is exactly involved. If you wish to switch from one bank to another, all the factors that make this switching difficult must be made easy; these are the key changes,” said Gordhan.

“A banking regulator is one other avenue. Other avenues include civil society, more active consumer groups.”

The pay of bank executives was also raised at the meeting.

“We think that banks need to be sensitive and we will be governed by what forums such as the G20 agree on that point. Banks have pointed out to us that for them paying executives as much as they do, it is about the retention of skills. But it’s a matter that we’ll continue to look into,” said Gordhan.

The National Treasury also called for more transparency in the banking sector, as well as a “more active consumer and civil society”.—I-Net Bridge

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