Opposition MP Fumes as House Votes to Suspend Debate on Banking Fees Bill

Member of Parliament for South St. Catherine, Fitz Jackson, fumed in the House of Representatives this afternoon over the suspension of the debate on his bill to end the predatory behaviour of financial institutions in imposing fees on customers.

MP Jackson became angry when Leader of Government Business, Everald Warmington, moved to suspend the debate on the bill he had re-tabled.

In re-tabling the bill Mr. Jackson argued that the government and Parliament are complicit in allowing the deposit-taking institutions to prey on vulnerable Jamaicans.

Mr. Jackson withdrew his bill last year to allow for stakeholder consultations. The bill seeks to establish a minimum service standard to combat the arbitrary imposition of fees by financial institutions.

Mr. Jackson says the Parliament must not fail vulnerable Jamaicans again.

The move to suspend the debate came down to a 30 to 21 vote in favour of suspension. Mr. Warmington promised that the bill will be taken through its stages next week Tuesday.

And Central Kingston MP, Ronald Thwaites, says Parliament should move to have banks repay money taken from dormant accounts.

Last year Finance Minister, Audley Shaw, noted that billions of dollars were present in these so-called dormant accounts.

Several banks charged fees on these accounts which had no activity for an extended period of time. Mr. Thwaites holds that the practice must not only be stopped but reversed.

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