St Catherine South MP welcomes plans for agency to protect bank users
The St Catherine South MP Fitz Jackson, is welcoming the Government’s decision to set up a consumer oversight body for the financial sector.
In making the announcement in Parliament yesterday, Finance Minister, Audley Shaw, said it is expected that the agency will be established by the end of the financial year.
Shaw said the Government has taken note of the outcry of Jamaicans about the high fees and charges by deposit-taking institutions.
He said it believes that a dedicated financial services consumer protection agency will help to address the concerns of consumers.
Jackson, who has been advocating for stronger banking regulations and consumer protection, says details on the agency’s mandate should be made public in short order by the Government.
He says the agency should not be seen as a substitute or an alternative for regulatory amendments governing fees and charges by deposit-taking institutions.
Jackson has proposed legislation in Parliament, which seeks to among other things, regulate banking fees.
The bill has received strong pushback from the financial sector with financial institutions arguing that the government should not dictate fees in a free-market economy.
The finance minister told Parliament yesterday that banks made approximately $29 billion from service charges, transaction fees and commissions last year, almost 17 per cent more than what was collected in 2015.