Bank of Botswana (BoB) has imposed a two-year moratorium on any upward adjustment of bank charges and fees with effect from January 1, 2014, the bank’s Head of Communications, Andrew Sesinyi indicated in response to Gazette Business enquiry.
“This means that no bank will be allowed to make any upward adjustment of banking tariffs (bank charges, commissions, and other non-interest fees) for a period of two years,” he explained.
“This is with the exception of any Bank Rate linked adjustment of interest rates. In the case of any new product/service to be availed during the period in question, the related fee/charge will not exceed the fee(s) applicable for existing similar products; such fees will be subject to the Bank’s prior approval,” he explained further.
On the reason why they have imposed the moratorium, Sesinyi said it was a decision they made in response to the growing public concern about the perceived high level of bank charges and other fees which are deemed not to be commensurate with the quality of banking services. “The current high cost of financial intermediation, including onerous bank charges on savings, discourage public savings and, in general, the use of the banking system. These charges are a disincentive to savings mobilisation in the country,” he said.
He concluded by saying that during the moratorium period, the Bank will take such measures as deemed necessary to streamline bank charges and, in consultation with appropriate stakeholders, determine the way forward.