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Excess bank charges a setback

DESPITE Government issuing a circular on the need for commercial banks to abolish unnecessary charges, some banks have not adhered to this legal notice.
Recently, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) issued a directive to all banks to stop unwarranted charges and fees to enhance financial inclusion, effective September 4, 2018.
Financial inclusion means that individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance – delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.
According to a Government Gazette number 6693, BoZ Prohibition against Unwarranted Bank Charges and Fees of 2018, has now been promulgated into law.
However, a random check by this reporter at some automated teller machines (ATM) last week revealed that some commercial banks are still charging customers for debit transactions.
It is believed that various charges that commercial banks have been charging customers have contributed to lack of saving culture, resulting in the birth of new saving opportunities such as village banking and