Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Banking fees bill to be decided on today

Published:Tuesday | February 13, 2018 | 9:25 AM

Members of the House of Representatives will today make a critical decision on whether to pass or reject the Banking Services Bill, which seeks to regulate bank fees in Jamaica.

The Lower House will have its final sitting today for the 2017/2018 legislative year, as the prorogation of Parliament takes effect tomorrow and the new parliamentary year begins this Thursday.

Member of Parliament for St Catherine South, Fitz Jackson, introduced the private member’s bill last year, and it has had several setbacks since it was first tabled for debate.   

Last week, tempers flared when acting leader of government business in the House of Representatives, Everald Warmington, announced that debate on the bill would be suspended.

A motion for the suspension of the bill was put by Warmington and opposition lawmakers called for a divide.

When the votes were counted, the motion was carried, with 30 Government legislators saying ‘yes’, compared with 21 opposition lawmakers dissenting.

Jackson had first introduced a resolution on bank fees from 2013, which was debated and referred to a joint select committee for deliberation.

Stakeholders from various financial institutions made presentations to the committee and a report was prepared with a raft of recommendations.

Lawmakers who participated in the debate on the bank fees resolution gave widespread support to the measure.