The CCPC says the Bank of Zambia’s move to abolish bank charges is a wakeup call to the financial sector to become more innovative and find other means of sustaining their operations.
In a statement to News Diggers! Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) public relations officer Namukolo Kasumpa stated that the advocacy of deepening financial inclusion had suffered due to the high charges associated with banking services and had denied the public from enjoying simple and convenient banking services.
“Gazette Notice No. 731 of 2018, which prohibits unwarranted banks charges and fees by the financial services sector, comes at a time when the need for financial inclusion is urgent. The Competition and Commission Protection Commission (CCPC) would, therefore, like to commend the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) for taking this bold step towards sanitizing the banking and financial services sector with regards to the numerous bank charges that have been obtaining. For some time now, consumers have complained of excessive and numerous bank charges. The removal of these bank charges is, therefore, a relief to the over-charged consumers who for a very long time were suffering from unfair trading practices in the banking sector. The advocacy of deepening financial inclusion had suffered due to the high charges associated with banking services, which had denied the public from enjoying simple and convenient banking services,” stated Kasumpa.
“Citizens, more so from the informal sector despite having an opportunity to be financially included with the banking sector, have refrained as they perceive financial services providers as distrustful. This is a wakeup call to the sector to become more innovative and find other means of sustaining their operations instead of levying endless charges on the public. The removal of unwarranted charges and fees is, therefore, expected to go a long way in promoting financial inclusion and also ensuring that consumers are not unfairly charged. The Commission remains determined in its pursuit of ensuring consumers are fairly treated in all sectors of the market and will continue engagements with relevant stakeholders where consumers’ right seems to be restricted or violated. The Commission would like to encourage the banking public to report all banks that will not adhere to the Bank of Zambia directive for the prohibition of unwarranted bank charges and fees.”