CHINA / National

NPC delegate urges halt of new bank fee
(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2006-06-05 13:51

A delegate of China's National People's Congress suggested that the country's pricing authority order banks to stop charging customers for cross-bank inquiries, China Business News reported today.

Huang Xihua, also the vice director of the environmental bureau in Huizhou City, Guangdong Province, sent an emergency proposal to the standing committee of the NPC on Friday afternoon.

The country's five biggest commercial banks announced a charge of 0.30 yuan (3.7 US cents) for each cross-bank inquiry by card-holders on June 1.

"The charge influenced a lot of people, so as a delegate, I have the right to compose a proposal that represents the people's opinions," Huang said.

Huang said she and another delegate in Huizhou handed in the proposal.

The proposal includes three suggestions:

*The China Banking Regulatory Commission strengthens its supervision on banks' decisions that will harm the benefits of consumers;

*The country's pricing authority orders banks to halt the cross-bank inquiry charge until a hearing is held;

*The cross-bank inquiry charge must be cross-examined to see if it has violated existing laws and regulations on pricing and contracts.

Huang said she expects banks to provide more details to justify their new charge, like the calculation of inquiry cost.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission or banks will respond to Huang in six months upon receiving the proposal from the standing committee.