Govt Communications Consultant Parts with Administration on Banking Fees

A government of Jamaica consultant is breaking ranks with the Andrew Holness Administration, over the banking fee controversy.

Communications Specialist in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Marlon Morgan, says the government should support the proposals made by South St. Catherine Member of Parliament Fitz Jackson in his bill to amend the Banking Service Act of 2014.

Mr. Jackson has been struggling to get the bill passed in the House of Representatives. But Government MPs, including Industry and Commerce Minister Karl Samuda, have voted down the bill.

They’ve also maintained that more than 90-percent of the bill’s provisions already exist in current legislation. But Mr. Morgan doesn’t agree.

He’s also chiding UWI Economist, Dr. Damien King, for his suggestion that consumers have several choices of banks to do business, and that regulating banking fees will affect market competition.

Mr. Morgan notes that persons who are cashing cheques have to do so at the banks stipulated by the writer of the cheque. He also says banks are now using fees to generate a majority of their income.

In the Meantime, Mr. Morgan is describing as ‘problematic’, Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ appointment of Bryan Sykes as Acting Chief Justice, and asking the senior jurist to prove himself before he’s fully confirmed. He says the past two and a half weeks have been what he calls a ‘bad patch for the administration’. But Mr. Morgan says the administration has good intention behind its action regarding the Chief Justice and the Banking bill issue.

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