By Macon Araneta i FilAm Star Correspondent
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) should require banks to visibly display their international remittance prices on their websites, the party-list group ACTS-OFW said.
“We see no reason why regulators cannot compel banks to clearly post their applicable remittance prices for all to see. Banks are already obliged to make public most of their other fees and charges anyway,” said ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III.
Bertiz said greater transparency from banks with respect to their remittance prices would give more meaning to the rights of consumers, mainly migrant workers, to be informed and to choose.
ACTS-OFW has been batting for reduced bank remittance charges to help ease the burden on migrant Filipino workers and their families.
“The less our workers pay for bank money transfer charges, the more cash goes into the pockets of their families here,” Bertiz said.
The United Nations’ Social Development Goals seek to lessen income inequality by eventually lowering the cost of an international cash remittance to a global average of three percent of the amount sent.
“Banks remain the most expensive type of (remittance) service provider, with an average cost of 10.51 percent of the amount sent,” according to the World Bank’s Remittance Prices Worldwide quarterly report as of September 2018.
“The report basically implies that for every $200 sent home through banks, our migrant workers pay an average of $21.02 in transfer charges, which is too much,” Bertiz said.
Overseas Filipinos still prefer to wire their money home via banks, despite the rise of The Western Union Co., MoneyGram International Inc. and other non-bank remittance agents.
Banks capture some 85 percent of all the money sent home by overseas Filipinos, the World Bank said.
Overseas Filipinos sent home through the banking system a total of $21.29 billion from January to September this year, up 2.5 percent from $20.78 billion in the same nine-month period in 2017, the BSP said.