Any increase in fees for services made through automated teller machines need the approval of the Bangko Sentral.
This was stressed by the BSP in a statement following concerns it received caused by talk about the possible hike in ATM fees.
“The BSP assures the public that its policy on ATM fees is guided by best industry practices and that it is driven with the broader welfare of consumers in mind,” it said.
The central bank explained that it has issued several regulations directing banks to heed “principles of reasonable and market-based pricing in their ATM operations.”
“As such, banks cannot increase the ATM fee on their own. In fact, any bank that intends to adjust ATM fees must file its request with the BSP, indicating their proposed fees, as well as the costs currently incurred by the bank with respect to its ATM activities,” it said.
The statement said costs declared by banks “should be clear, properly supported, and may be validated by the BSP when deemed necessary.”
“The BSP also disallows the imposition of set fees arising from agreements between market participants,” it said.
The central bank assured the banking public that it “shall examine each request and decide if the increase is warranted to cover the cost of maintaining the ATMs”.
“Should an increase be necessary in order for banks to continue providing ATM services to the banking public, the BSP will ensure that the increase will be reasonable and will adhere to pricing principles provided under BSP Circular No. 980 dated 6 November 2017,” it said.
“In any case, said fees should be lower than the fees collected from transactions made over-the-counter (OTC) and comply with transparency in pricing,” it added.