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The Ministry of Economy has asked the Central Bank to help curb a surge in fees imposed by bank on credit card users, saying this issue is not its responsibility, the Arabic language daily Al Khaleej reported on Thursday.
The ministry’s Consumer Protection Committee made the request at a meeting with the central bank on December 30 following growing complaints by consumers that dealers are overcharging credit card holders in transactions.
“We have presented a letter to the Central Bank in this regard because it is the authorized party that can deal with this issue,” a committee source said.
“The committee can only present the problem and its effects to the central bank considering the regulations governing the work of banks and other financial institutions in the country,” the unnamed source told the paper.
In a statement last month, the ministry said dealers who are overcharging credit card holders are violating the law.
The Ministry said it had received complaints from credit card holders that some traders are making them pay additional fees on top of bank fees in their purchasing transactions.
It said extra fees have ranged between 2.5 and five per cent paid by card holders to dealers along with fees paid to the bank in any purchasing transaction.
“Any commission or extra fee charged by the dealer on top of the original price of the product in a purchase by credit cards is illegal,” the Ministry said.
The circular said there is a need for a stronger coordination between the Ministry and local economy departments to control such practices and “create more awareness among consumers".
A senior Central Bank last month spoke of plans to unify services fees imposed by banks on their clients but said it would not intervene in fixing those fees.
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