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RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Taiwan

Taiwan's banks cheating customers in interests: legislator

Delayed accounting of deposits allowed Taiwan's banks to cheat customers of over NT$13 million or US$434,000 in annual interests.


This was found out by Legislator Chao Tien-lun from the Democratic Progressive Party, who noted that such delays occur when money is deposited or transferred through ATMs during non-office hours.

The money deposited or transferred when the bank is closed will not go into the account until the next working day, meaning no interest will be given for the sum during the interval, Chao said.

That happens more often when people deposit money on Friday after banks close, and interest is not given over the weekend. He foundout that such delays allow banks in Taiwan to pay at least NT$13 million less in interest.

Chao added that if a person deposits a sum of NT$500,000 after a bank closes for a 10-day Chinese New Year holiday, the customer will lose about NT$45.2 in interest during those 10 days.

The lawmaker said he started investigating after receiving a complaint from a man claiming to have been cheated.

The man, surnamed Chen, deposited a sum on a Friday night. On Monday, he went to the bank to update his bank book, only to find that the sum was entered as a deposit received on Monday. When he asked a bank teller about the interest for the sum during the weekend, the teller implied that there would be none.

An official with the Cabinet's Financial Supervisory Commission emphasized that banks must pay interest for sums deposited over the weekend or during holidays and that they will “correct” banks if they fail to do so.

But the situation that Chao described occurs only at a few of Taiwan's banks, according to one report.

Major banks, such as Bank of Taiwan, First Commercial Bank and Chinatrust Commercial Bank, assured that they pay interest starting from the day the sums are deposited through ATMs.

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