Charge for Counting Coins Unfair: Consumers' Association
    2010-06-01 10:39:37     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xu Leiying
The new policies implemented by banks over charging to count small change have infringed upon the rights of consumers, the Beijing Consumers' Association asserted.
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The new policies implemented by banks over charging to count small change have infringed upon the rights of consumers, the Beijing Consumers' Association asserted Monday. A public hearing should be held to determine whether banks can actually charge the fees or not, the Beijing News reported.

The charge is unfair to consumers, said Lang Danke, the director of the complaints department at the Beijing Consumers' Association.

Lang believed the new policies regarding service charges, especially those related to individual consumers, should be issued after a thorough study and discussion, such as through a public hearing, rather than being the result of hasty decisions.

Recently, many Chinese banks, including the Agricultural Bank of China, the Bank of Beijing and the China Minsheng Bank have joined the team of banks charging to count small change such as both coins and notes bearing a value of or less than one yuan.

For instance, a customer who deposits 100 yuan in one-yuan coins at the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) will be charged a 2 yuan service fee.

Although China's Interim Measures for the Management of the Service Prices of Commercial Banks have allowed commercial banks to collect fees for counting and handling small change and to determine the cost of the service, the decisions have spurred public criticism.

On the same day, reputed lawyer Qiu Baochang echoed Lang's idea in Beijing. Qiu said banks are institutions that make profits through offering financial services to customers. The cost of counting small change is part of their operational cost, which should be covered by the bank rather than being passed on to its customers. Therefore, the decision by the banks to charge for the service is unfair to the consumers.

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