Recently, Member of Parliament Fitz Jackson piloted a Private Member’s Bill to tighten regulations governing the banking sector. The Bill to Amend the Banking Services Act covers three broad areas: (i) regulation of information to consumers; (ii) regulations of customer service standards; and (iii) regulation of fees charged for ancillary services. The motivation behind the Bill is to increase consumer protection. While the motivation is commendable, the consequences of the proposed measures are likely to be catastrophic for consumers.
The electronic and print media have covered an assortment of points of view regarding the efficacy of the proposed amendments. Mr. Jackson has unwittingly revived the longstanding debate on the respective roles of competition and regulation in guiding economic activity.
The FTC does not support the proposal to regulate fees charged for ancillary services because our surveillance indicates that the commercial banking sector is amenable to competition.
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