Extra profit for banks from unfair policies

The Consumers’ Association of Penang is completely against banks attempting to profit more than they already do from implementing unfair policies. We are against the RM0.50 CRM (cash recycling machine) and CQM (cheque deposit machine) transaction fee and the RM2.00 for counter transactions fee.

It has been reported that certain banks have announced beginning 1st October 2019 they will be charging RM0.50 for transactions at the CRM /CQM and RM2.00 for counter transactions.

However, CAP had already received complaints about this matter in May of this year. The complainants stated that Public Bank was charging RM0.50 for repayment of housing loans and credit card payments at the CRM. When one of our officers enquired about this they were told by a Public Bank personnel that it is the bank’s new policy and if customers did not want to pay transactions fees then they should opt for online banking instead.

Subsequent to that we had written to Bank Negara Malaysia to state our objection to the new transaction fee as well as to question BNM on why they allowed banks to impose this fee. So far there has been no response from BNM regarding this matter.

We can only take their silence as tacit approval of this new bank policy to profit from customers for CRM/CQM and counter transactions. This is not the first time we have taken up the issue of banks implementing unfair policies with BNM, only to be sorely disappointed by the lack of care for the peoples’ welfare exhibited by BNM.

For instance, it used to be that if money was taken out of an FD account before the maturity date the account holder would still get some earnings; however as a penalty the interest would be downgraded to interest that is on par with savings account, which is much less than FD account interest. However, beginning 1st January 2019, if money is taken out of an FD (fixed deposit) account before the maturity date, by even one day, all the earnings is forfeited. We took up this matter with BNM as it is very unfair to the people who deposit their money into FD accounts. The bank will use their customers’ money, but if money is withdrawn from an FD account before the maturity date because money is needed for an emergency (as is the case with many of the elderly) then they lose everything they should have gained. BNM’s only reply to this was that it is a “business decision” and banks are allowed to implement the new FD account policy.

We ask that BNM stop allowing banks to rip-off of their customers as they are already raking in billions. Banks must not be allowed to profit more on top of the profit they are already making from their customers by implementing unfair policies. BNM can start by abolishing the CRM/CQM and counter transaction charges. After that BNM should look into all the other unfair policies that banks have started imposing on their customers.


Press Statement, 24 September 2019