Monday, June 17, 2024

Regulating Bank charges would be against the the Zambian Law-Bankers

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Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe
Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe

The Bankers Association of Zambia says moves to introduce a new law that will introduce uniform bank transaction charges will contravene the competition law.

Recently, Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe told Parliament that Government is planning to sign a Statutory Instrument to regulate bank charges.

Mrs. Mwanakatwe said Government is aware of the high over-the-counter charges that are levied on withdrawals for amounts above the limits dispensed by automated teller machines (ATMs).

But Association Spokesperson and Administration Officer Mirriam Zimba said in an interview that such plans would go against the Competition and Consumer Protection Act.

Ms Zimba said the Zambian Competition Law is also in conformity with other continental and global treaties which the country cannot easily walk away from.

She also stated that it would be important that the Bankers Association of Zambia is consulted before such legislation is passed.

“Clearly we are the major stakeholder in this process and it would be important that we are fully consulted,” Ms Zimba said.

She also advised the public to shop around for a bank with lower prices that suit their pockets instead of complaining about high charges.

She said the pricing of products for each bank is usually based on the cost of their infrastructure.

Ms. Zimba said the Zambian banking sector has around 17 commercial banks and a bouquet of products, giving clients options to pick the best offer that perfectly suit their pockets.

24 COMMENTS

  1. The Bankers Association of Zambia only cares about s members who pay it…Zambians need to wake up from their docility and realize that the banks wouldn’t be in business if you decided to all put your money at home. Why should someone be charged for leaving K10,000 in an account …what the ministers should propose is all banks should offer a standard basic current account with no charges with debit card as standard…these accounts are offered in Europe if you leave £100 in the account after 24 months it will still be there..

    • Did u see the video of a drunk Margaret Duduzile Mhango Mwanakatwe that went viral last weekend?

      We told you this woman is a drunkard and has neither the will nor capability to fix the broken economy.

      The cost of doing business in Zambia is too much. Look at what a Stanbic loan bankrupted Costain Chilala. People who got loans before PF are now repaying more than double the installment due to PF failures.

      Awe sure, we are doomed.

    • What a foolish argument by the Bankers Association. The Competition Act is law regulating competition. The proposed law is intended to regulate exorbitant bank charges. If this law is enacted, it will have equal force to the competition law. It will not be illegal. The only law which is illegal is one that contravene the constitution. Unless the proposed law will contravene the constitution, then it will be illegal only to the extent of the contravention.

      Bravo Margret for the proposed law. These banks have exploited the masses for far too long. The role of government is to ensure all mischief is cured. After all, the Competition Law was enacted by the same Government!

    • Our Politicians not savvy …this Maggie lady is a former Bank Manger/Director surely she should know the ins and outs of the business but unfortunately she is a useless drunk as well, having an accent doesn’t make you any more different to a Kaponya like Mumbi Phiri.
      What the govt should do is challenge the Banking community to reduce charges and offer a basic standard account with no charges…this way the consumer will know that their bank looks out for them.
      Moreover if more people bank with you the more services you will offer them and in turn reduce the black market.

    • Here is the simple truth in black and white. Banks are businesses but the business environment has become tough under the PF. Too many bank loans are not performing and the banks are not making as much money as they should be from lending. So they have looked for other income streams to remain in business profitably. They have decided to hike account maintenance fees. For those in Zambia, you have seen whole-page advertisements by banks to sell property they have seized from defaulting borrowers. Newspaper advertising managers see it as good business, economic analysts see it as one of the signs of trouble in the economy. Another sign is bailiffs adverts of movable assets seized from rent defaulters and put on sale.

    • Ms Zimba needs to do more research if she has to make outlandish assertions such as infrastructure and conformity to continental and intercontinental treaties determining bank charges being levied on Zambian consumers. I bank with Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase. I never get charged anything on my checking and savings account because I have options to use the ATM if I need to get an amount within the stipulated limit. For Chase, they have ATM’s inside the bank that would dispense over ATM limit amount, free of charge. Bank of America will only charge me if I withdraw an over the limit daily amount from my checking if I did it inside the bank but I will not be charged if I withdrew the same amount of money from my savings.
      If I ever came back to Zambia, I would be putting my money in…

    • Giving the thumbs down to my posting isn’t an argument. An argument is made when you give reasons for disagreeing. How do I engage you with your thumbs down? Ndanje Khakis, Zambian Citizen, B.R Mumba Sr and your ilk, our economic interests are the same no matter how much we disagree politically. Those beggars, car washers and street sellers on Kitwe, Ndola, Lusaka, Kabwe, Livingstone, Mazabuka, Solwezi, and Kasama streets could be as much my relatives as yours. And the numbers are increasing in case you have not taken note and they are running out of vantage positions from where to beg and sell. I understand you cannot just turn up and start begging, you have to have some kind of “title” to the spot.

    • @1.2 jj … time you started congratulating ministers once they champion something progressive which protects the interest of the masses. what the honourable minister is trying to come up with shud be supported by all sensible zambians. this is what we call a working government and by this act, the PF will win a lot of support coz banks have stolen enough from poor customers

  2. What a foolish argument by the Bankers Association. The Competition Act is law regulating competition. The proposed law is intended to regulate exorbitant bank charges. If this law is enacted, it will have equal force to the competition law. It will not be illegal. The only law which is illegal is one that contravene the constitution. Unless the proposed law will contravene the constitution, then it will be illegal only to the extent of the contravention.

    Bravo Margret for the proposed law. These banks have exploited the masses for far too long. The role of government is to ensure all mischief is cured. After all, the Competition Law was enacted by the same Government!

  3. Nonsense! This is total foolishness and utter stupidity by Mwanakatwe and her friends! Why should Zambians be serving the law instead of the law serving Zambians? Mwanakatwe worked in the banking sector for too long and sucks up to the powerful Banks! We dont want that…. This Very foolish Ancient “ole Asse!” thinks banks set the law for Zambians instead of the opposite!
    We need and should change the Law so that it serves Zambians properly not Zambians serving foolish imperialist banks.

  4. MAGGY is contradicting herself but anywa its normal as one enters PF its chipantepante like SUPER EAGLES AT THE WORLD CUP

  5. What law? A minister cannot just throw words like that. Cite the law. That’s how you convince the people. Laws change and can be changed by tabling it in parliament if you know it’s wrong.

  6. “Clearly we are the major stakeholder in this process” Ms Zimba said.

    Oh really, the banks are the “major” stakeholder? What of the customers who pay your fees? I guess they are nothing? It sounds like Ms. Zimba forgets whose money banks use to generate profits!

    To say customers should shop around is also chillingly cold. If she were sincere, what then is Association doing to ensure all banks publish T&Cs online – in a way that is transparent, not just legal jargon? (GRZ, take the hint, a good area for reform!). A check of my own bank’s site and another shows no information on ledger fees, transaction fees, withdraw fees, ATM fees, etc. Shame on Ms. Zimba!

    • They can only say this in Zambia because they know people are very docile…they are forgetting without customers they are nothing!!

  7. “She said the pricing of products for each bank is usually based on the cost of their infrastructure.” How about fuel price bcoz even filling stations have got their infrastructures. In fact all ATMS are the same so what the fuse about infrastructure?

  8. What nonsense is this from the Bankers? The Consumer Act they are relying and the proposed law will have equal effect and only subordinate to the constitution. If government has established that exploitation by the Bankers needs to be addressed thru the proposed law, so be it. Afterall, social injustice is a constitutional offence, so the propsed law will prevail over the Consumer Law

    • sharon… banks in zambia are there to rob pipo not to offer services. there core business is robbing.

      i also appeal to the minister to revisit the practice of how one shud be listed on CRB. Right now its so personalised and in confusion

  9. Yes banks are businesses and they also need to make money but some charges are absurd such as withdrawing your own money which you gave them to use they charge you. Money that you want to give them so that they can lend it out and make more money yet they charge you for large deposits. You want to reconcile with them their charges but they charge you for statements. You want to give them your money for free for them to use but they charge you for a deposit book. You have been a loyal customer for years but if you want a reference they will charge you K150 just for typing a one page letter. Again a loyal customer wants the manager to sign for him/her on the passport application then its a charge. Even certifying photocopies its K50 charge.

  10. “She also advised the public to shop around for a bank with lower prices that suit their pockets instead of complaining about high charges”.
    Don’t be silly Miss Zimba, what is there to shop around when all your members charge the same plus/minus a few ngwee? BAZ is a cartel that should be checked by the Competition Commission.

  11. Years ago, robbers used to wear masks when robbing from people. Today they wear pin-stripped suits and call themselves bankers – even having the audacity to defend themselves through institutions like the one like Mirriam works for.
    I agree fully, we don’t benefit from banks but can’t do without them for a good number of transactions. The Government should force them to adjust the rates because they have formed a terrible cartel.

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