Wednesday, March 21, 2012

RIGHT TO MY SAVINGS STATEMENT Campaign - Government must intervene to prevent consumers being denied rights

This right to a savings statement is an important campaign, and there are some related issues that need to be addressed.

1 - Even if you have a savings account book, the NEW problem that arised is that there is apparently a new Bank Negara ruling that states that the account holder must come personally to the Bank, if they want their savings account book updated. This updating of account in most banks have to be done over the counter - not vide ATMs. This means traveling to the bank, during bank operational hours, standing in line and all this just for the updating of the account book - note the making of any withdrawal, transfer, etc - whereby for the later there may be some rationale for insisting the presence of the account holder - maybe to prevent fraud by 3rd parties, but for updating your book? Problem faced most by the Elderly, the disabled and those who have to depend on others for public transport. It is also a problem for even normal working people - as this means leaving work during working hours just to go to the bank to update your savings book. Today, for the elderly, many of them have their pensions and/or other entitlements paid directly into their account - and this monthly trips is a great problem - an unnecessary waste of time, cost not just of the account holder but usually also of others who are forced to accompany such account holders. [UPDATING of Saving Account Books do not require such stringent requirement requiring the presence of the account holder. In other countries, all these can be done using an ATM machine. Any person should be allowed to come an update saving account books - maybe not the withdrawal of monies or the transfer of moneys. It really is very ODD because now anyone using an ATM card can take out monies and/or even transfer monies from an account other than theirs provided they have the requisite ATM card and the password..]

2 - A lot of banks, BSN included, when it comes to updating saving accounts book - the banks do not provide updates containing details of entry and withdrawal (dates, manner of transaction (cheque/cash deposits, transfers, etc) or the sums deposited. My father passed away last June, and being a pensioner, the government transferred RM3,000 into my mother's account for funeral expenses assistance, but when the BSN refused to print details of money entries, but just a lump sum of monies that have entered and withdrawn - it is impossible to even ascertain that the RM3,000 sum had been deposited into the account, let alone when. Banks take the position that detail entries and withdrawals will only be given/printed in savings book if it happened within the month prior.How can one send a written confirmation to the Pensions Department confirming receipt of the said RM3,000-00 for we will not know whether there was any RM3,000 deposit or when it happened. It is difficult when all the information that one have access to is just a lump-sum total of deposits and made from the last up-dating date. [Previously, there was a right to get the details printed out - and even in the worse case scenario, Banks will print out these details on separate sheet of paper, even if not in the saving accounts book - but apparently no more.] Now, more and more things like even dividends paid out with regard to shares are all being directly banked in, and as such consumers really require breakdowns of all monies that come into their savings account so that they can personally check and verify that monies that were supposed to be banked in to their accounts have really been banked in - if not how can they ascertain this, and do the needful to claim their entitlements. Hence, all updating of savings account pass books must provide full details of entries and withdrawals. If not so easily, people can be CHEATED...]

3 - The practice of charging for detailed statements must stop - it is the right of the Consumer of banks to get these statements at a regular interval, preferably monthly, without any additional charges. 

4 - Internet/Phone Banking really is no justification for not giving detailed written statements to the consumer, be it in the form of printing in pass books or those that are being posted to consumers holding current accounts. Many do not use these Internet/Phone Banking services by reason of potential risks of  'hacking' etc, or just not having access to internet, or just preferring to have things 'black and white'. Most of the elderly, in fact maybe even those above 40 just do not have access or use internet/phone banking - this could very easily be verified. What we are concerned with is USAGE for registering for these services normally is done for a lot of consumers when they open their new accounts - so many may have registered - but the question is usage/regular usage, and for the later, I believe it is minimal.

The  RIGHT TO MY SAVINGS STATEMENT Campaign hopefully would also address some of the real issues facing the ordinary consumers of bank, as highlighted above, as well 

Follow this link to get to the Campaign page -

Face book Campaign
In a modern economy, most consumers having a savings account with banks. Fundamentally, the purpose of the savings account is to deposit as well as withdraw monies in a safe and secure institution. Additionally, the savings also accrue interests. 

It is a fundamental consumer right to have a monthly record of these transactions, be it deposit or withdrawals or interests added.  This record is for consumers to counter-check that the transactions recorded are indeed correct and there have been no unauthorized withdrawals as well as to assist in their personal financial management practices.

Additionally, according to Bank Negara:
The Consumer can keep track of their banking transactions and interest earned either through a pass book or through a bank statement. (

However, many banks are NOT providing pass books or monthly statements to their saving account holders.  Thus consumers have no record of their deposits/withdrawals as well if there have been unauthorized withdrawals.

If a consumer wants his record, he has to pay for the statement.


FOMCA launched the RIGHT TO MY SAVINGS STATEMENT Campaign on 15 March 2012 in conjunction with World Consumer Rights Day.

FOMCA calls on ALL consumers, but especially those have a savings account, but have not been given a pass book or receive monthly statements to support our Campaign. 

Recognizing the power of social media in bringing together people, FOMCA is launching a Facebook Campaign to indicate consumer support and pressure the regulator to enforce the laws and practices which are currently being flaunted. 

The campaign will run for a total of 45 days with a special Facebook campaign page running for the time period. Users need only to like the campaign to show their support. 

Following the completion of the campaign, the total number of supporters for the campaign will be used to demand that all banks provide pass books or monthly statements to ALL saving accounts consumers.

15 March  2012

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