Maybank should not charge its account holders for a service charge of 2% for simple and basic services such as conversion of coins. It's also ridiculous for banks to charge account holders 50 sen for using the ATM for cash withdrawals

Press Statement
by Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

(Petaling Jaya, Friday):  On Wednesday, the country's top bank Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) announced that its net profit for the nine months to March rose to RM1.37 billion ringgit from a year ago on lower loan loss provisions.

It said net interest income for the nine months dipped to RM2.94 billion from RM2.95 billion a year ago, while pre-tax profit rose to RM1.95 billion from RM1.88 billion previously.

Ironically, the bank recently started to impose a service charge on its account holders and other consumers for conversion of coins, and the quantum is a shocking 2%! When Mr Tee of Petaling Jaya went to his Maybank branch to exchange for some coins for his restaurant as usual, he was told to pay RM8 as a fee for coins worth RM400. This works out to be a hefty 2% as service charge.

This is ridiculous as one must note that the current interest rate of savings accounts is no more than 4% per annum. As a matter of fact, any savings account holder of Maybank could only receive less than RM16 as interest at the end of 12 months if he or she deposits RM400 with the bank today. But the bank makes RM8 out of the conversion of coins in less than a minute!

We are very disappointed with Maybank (and other bank, if any) for such blatant abuse of its account holders' trust in them. As the top bank with the most number of branches in the country, surely Maybank can afford a little consideration for the little people like petty traders and millions of others who have supported this national flagship bank.

It is also ridiculous for banks to charge account holders for using the ATM for cash withdrawals from their own accounts. Recently, a 50 sen transaction fee has been imposed on the fifth and subsequent withdrawals in each month. Only those who maintain a minimum balance of RM3, 000 in the account will be exempted from the ruling.

The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumers should look into the matters and direct Maybank and other banks in Malaysia to drop such easy ways of making money.


* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP national publicity secretary