ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey has reduced the range and the levels of fees and commissions that banks can charge clients, according to central bank and banking watchdog regulations announced on Monday.
The measures will cut the various charges banks can charge financial consumers to 16 from 20. Finance and Treasury Minister Berat Albayrak said they would also reduce the upper limits on electronic fund transfers (EFT) to between 1 and 100 lira from 6 to 850 lira.
“With every step we take, we will continue to prioritize protecting our citizens’ interests and lowering their costs,” Albayrak wrote on Twitter.
The BDDK watchdog regulations, published in the country’s Official Gazette, abolished fees charged to commercial customers for opening and operating accounts.
The fees charged for EFT transactions were reduced, with an upper limit of 1 lira ($0.17) for mobile banking transactions below 1,000 lira, compared to a previous limit of 6 lira.
The maximum charge for such transactions at automated teller machines was set at 2 lira, down from 17 lira and was set at 5 lira for other EFT transactions compared to a previous 67 lira.
Separately, the Turkish Central Bank said the number of fees that banks can charge their commercial clients for products and services had been reduced to 51 items under a regulation to render fees more transparent.
These fees are offered under four categories in the forms of commercial loans, foreign trade, cash management and payment systems, the bank said. Previously the number of fees had been 2,400.
Under the existing arrangements, the amounts charged by banks “are far from being comparable and might lead to overcharging. Consequently, client complaints have increased significantly,” the bank said.
It said the provisions in the communique will be effective as of March 1, 2020.
Reporting by Nevzat Devranoglu; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Dominic Evans