A man counts out Zambian kwacha 50 denomination banknotes in this arranged photograph in Lusaka, Zambia, on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. Zambian Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda is seeking to restore confidence in the economy to help reverse the world’s worst currency performance, record borrowing costs and sliding growth. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
The Consumer Unit Trust Society (CUTS) International Zambia says it may be important for the government to consider intervening in the high bank charges being slapped on consumers for various transactions.
A recent survey showed that banks are charging anything from K5 to K500 for clients to access their money through the ATMs and over-the-counter transactions, while mobile money providers charge anything from K2 to K100 to send or receive money.
In a brief statement, CUTS International Zambia Coordinator ChenaiMukumba explained that there is need for government to ensure that consumers are not being exploited.
Ms. Mukumba said CUTS has received a number of complaints from consumers regarding bank charges.
“As businesses, banks are permitted to charge for the different services that they provide to consumers. It is important, however, for consumers to understand the costs of the banking products associated with the accounts they sign up for. Depending on the type of account, some banks indicate that the consumer will be charged for checking their account therefore consumers must be vigilant with requesting for this information so that they are not met by unexpected costs,” Ms. Mukumba said.
She added, “Having said that however, bank charges should ideally be within affordable limits for consumers. Some banks have been known to charge high fees and this is an issue that we have noted may be a concern in Zambia. As CUTS we have received a number of complaints from consumers regarding bank charges.”
Ms. Mukumba charged that high bank charges are detrimental to consumers because they erode their savings and also increase their debt.
“If the market is unable to work to push charges down for consumers it may be important for the government to consider intervening to ensure that consumers are not being exploited,” she suggested.
“In the same vein however, it is important for consumers to try and understand the banking products that banks offer and their prices.”
Reported by Lusaka Times on: https://www.lusakatimes.com/