Inactive Bank Accounts - New Law
August 03, 2014, Sunday/ 17:05:35/ TODAY'S ZAMAN / ISTANBUL

In spite of a recent law that aims to regulate the fees that banks can impose on customers, banks are continuing to assess fees under 60 different titles, according to Consumers Association (TD) President Aydın Ağaoğlu in a statement late last month.

The law was published in the Official Gazette in November 2013 and became effective on May 28 of this year. It prevents customers with inactive accounts from being charged fees and enables the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) to determine which fees banks can impose. However, the BDDK has still not issued such a list, thus enabling banks to charge fees for even the most basic of operations.

According to Ağaoğlu, banks are skirting the new law by assessing such fees, and they are not informing their customers when doing so. “Fees with names such as card renewal, breach of contract, virtual card, account statement, archival research, receipt, annual account maintenance and password transmission are among those being assessed, and consumers are not even being informed about the most important parts,” said Ağaoğlu.

In June after the law had been in effect for 20 days, Ağaoğlu said that banks should return fees collected in that 20-day period, as they contravened the regulation.

TÜDER Honorary President Engin Başaran said in May that the new law was a disappointment and that while certain fees were likely abolished under its jurisdiction, banks would still continue to implement the most commonly assessed fees.

Banks maintain fees amid legal loopholes

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