The consumer association Ektefila welcomed part of the measures presented by the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) as protection of the interests of citizens, users of banking services, but they claim that the measures are short-term and should represent the basis for a permanent solution to the problem of fee collection.
“We evaluate as positive the agreement with the banks to freeze the price lists of fees in the next year, as well as to reduce all fees, which have been increased since January 1, 2021, by 30 percent and not below the level that was valid before that date,” they stated. in the announcement.
They also positively evaluated the decision to introduce a mandatory payment account with basic services, which will cost citizens 150 dinars per month, and will include account maintenance, withdrawals within the bank and unlimited payments by QR code, with the collection of electronic payment orders, at a price reduced by 30 percent of the price of the cheapest existing package.
The association, on the other hand, assessed that these measures do not apply to tariffs that apply to the economy, so there is a possibility that banks will try to compensate for “losses” from the part of doing business with citizens, by raising the price lists for legal entities.
“That could then have a domino effect, because businessmen could transfer that new cost to the prices of their services and products, and citizens pay for it, and the effect of a reduced tariff for citizens would lose its meaning,” they stated.
The association also believes that the measures are short-term and that it would be good if they were the basis for a permanent solution to the problem of fee collection.
“Citizens could feel the bad effect of that in a year, when the banks could try to make up for what was lost, with a new, more noticeable increase in the price list,” said the association Effectiva.
They claim that the NBS, in addition to the existing measures, could have imposed on the banks the obligation of valid contracts with a minimum term, during which the banks would be obliged to guarantee the level of tariffs.