17 Oct 2006

Massive ANZ bank fee increases in Fiji spark protests

9:26 am on 17 October 2006

Massive increases in fees and the introduction of several new charges by Fiji's largest commercial bank, the ANZ Group, have sparked an outrage.

The fee increases range from 40% up to 400% and include miscellaneous service charges of 18-US dollars an hour which previously did not exist.

The ANZ's general manager, John Velegrinis, has dismissed calls for a banking ombudsman saying the Reserve Bank of Fiji is there to monitor the situation.

But the Fiji Times quotes the associate professor and head of the School of Economics at the USP, Doctor Biman Prasad, as saying a banking ombudsman is needed to oversee customer complaints and provide an independent assessment of fees and charges.

Dr Prasad says bank profitability has continued to rise in Fiji, yet fees & charges have continued to increase.