by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Sunday, 27th June, 1993:
DAP calls on Bank Negara to suspend consideration for the proposed increase of service charges by banks until banks and finance companies agree to introduce fair terms into all unilateral contracts forced on customers
DAP calls on Bank Negara to suspend consideration for the proposed increase of service charges by banks until banks and finance companies agree to introduce fair terms into all unilateral contracts forced on customers, like the question of liability in the use of safe deposit boxes.
It has been estimated that the banks are expected to rake in at least RM400 million more a year if new bank services changes are approved.
The Selangor and Federal Territory Consumers Association had made this estimate based on just three types of fees the 37 commercial banks proposed to levy. For instance, the bank stood to earn RM225 million yearly just by charging RM24 service fee on the 9.8 million savings account.
They will also rake in an extra RM120 million yearly from the RM12 fee to be levied on each ATM card based on 10 million savings and current accounts and another RM50 million from the RM20 fee on each of the 2.5 million current accounts.
As these proposed new service charges would fatten the profits of banks at expense of the ordinary people who have to make use of bank services, as well as inflationary in effect. Bank Negara must conduct an overall review of the services provided by banks and finance companies before making any decision.
There is no doubt that the increase of services charges in banks would be followed by the finance companies in the country.
The ‘grand theft’ of 129 of the 900 occupied safe deposit boxes at the BMf Kajang branch last Tuesday has highlighted one aspect in the banking and finance industry which is most unsatisfactory, oppressive and requires the closest scrutiny and reform by the authorities.
The MBf chief executive officer, Tan Sri Loy Hean Heong, had disclaimed all liability for the losses suffered by the customers, as a result of the theft and ransacking of the safe deposit boxes at the MBf Kajang branch on the ground that the customers had signed a on-sided agreement relieving the MBf of all liability for any losses incurred as a result of the use of the safe deposit boxes.
Band Negara must protect public interest and put a stop to all such unfair and one-sided agreements which customers of banks and finance companies are forced to sign for making use of their services.
As a result of the statement by Tan Sri Loy Hean Heong disclaiming all liability for the losses suffered by the customers at the MBf Kajang branch because of the theft of the safe deposit boxes, Bank Negara should suspend all consideration of the proposal to increase new services charges by the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) until banks and finance companies introduce fair terms into all unilateral contracts forced on customers.