Chung suggests more competitive banking sector could address fee issue

Dennis Chung
Financial analyst Dennis Chung says the issue of banking fees will continue to be controversial and has recommended making the industry more competitive as a long term solution.
Mr. Chung has come to the defence of financial institutions, arguing that they have also been impacted by inflation.
Instead of seeking to impose rules, he said the government should make the barrier to entry lower. He argued that the United States, for example, has done this and "has a highly competitive market". 
However, he acknowledged that "some form of protection" is needed such as anti-money laundering or proceeds of crime regulations. 
Mr. Chung suggested that the Bank of Jamaica implement a code of conduct to "monitor that sort of thing" and provide minimum protection for customers. 
Mr. Chung speaking Thursday on the Morning Agenda on Power 106.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has spoken out against the increase in banking fees, asserting that financial institutions must be cognizant of the difficulties that citizens are facing, especially in light of the pandemic.
Mr. Holness said while Jamaica is trying to transition out of the health crisis and the related measures, banks should be aware that Jamaicans are still experiencing significant financial difficulties.  
Opposition Member of Parliament Fitz Jackson has urged lawmakers to vote in favour of a bill to amend the Banking Services Act, which would address the issue of high service fees charged by commercial banks.

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