4 Dec 2009

Fiji retailers upset about bank charge hikes

1:35 pm on 4 December 2009

The Fiji Retailers Association has complained that the country's commercial banks are acting monopolistically by bringing in a raft of new charges.

The Association's President, Himmat Lodhia, says the margins available to banks in Fiji is relatively high and they should not resort to charging exorbitant fees.

He was particularly critical of new charges at the Colonial National Bank.

"One of the charges we find very peculiar is if you have taken in a hundred dollars and they give you 99 dollars back - one dollar for every 100 dollars they change. And even if they do any cash handling, for instance, there was never a fee or a charge before, but now if you deposit or withdraw say 5,000 dollars cash, suddenly there is a one percent charge."

Himmat Lodhia.

Officials contacted at the Suva head office of Colonial National Bank would not respond to the criticism.

Mr Lodhia says the retailers intend complaining to the Reserve Bank.