KINGSTON, April 12, 2018 - Another attempt is being made by Opposition Member of Parliament for St. Catherine Southern Fitz Jackson to have amendments made to the Banking Services Act, aimed at eliminating the thousands of dollars in fees that depositors have to pay for services at the island's commercial banks.
Mr. Jackson is seeking to prevent deposit-taking institutions from charging customers arbitrary and exorbitant fees.
On Wednesday, he sought leave in the House of Representatives to have the Banking Services motion tabled at the next sitting of the House.
"The re-tabling of the bill will give the government members really a chance to redeem themselves and to take steps necessary to protect the depositors."
On February 13, this year, the Banking Services Bill ended up on the scrap heap after 30 government members voted to reject its passage while 29 opposition legislators supporting the proposed law.
However, Member of Parliament for St. Catherine Southern Fitz Jackson who introduced the Bill as a Private Members Motion three years ago, vowed to reintroduce the proposed legislation in the next legislative year.
He said contrary to what was indicated by Mr. Shaw in the House on February 13, it is not the case that the bill makes provisions that are already in effect. "In fact, all the charges that the bill seeks to protect are currently being charged by the bank," he asserted.
On February 13, the House voted to discontinue the debate on the Bill after then then Finance Minister Audley Shaw, said it is competition which will have to drive down bank fees.
Mr. Shaw also indicated that 95 per cent of what Mr. Jackson is seeking to have put into law is already contained in the Banking Services Act.
According to Jackson, "our foremost duty as MPs is to protect the interest of the majority of Jamaicans.
Prime Minister Holness and all the JLP Members chose to protect the Banks in continuing to take MANY BILLIONS of dollars from ordinary Jamaicans by various fees.
"This is worst than having your money taken at gunpoint, as no one will be arrested and charged. This is heartless and wicked!" Jackson noted in a Facebook post on his timeline.
"Now that the lines are drawn, we MUST fight. I will again table the Bill in the new Legislative Year, next month and seek AGAIN AND AGAIN to have it pass.
If that fails, within 30 days of the PNP having the majority in Parliament, the Bill will become law to protect depositors. This is a COMMITMENT," the embattled St. Catherine Member of Parliament declared.