The State Bank of Vietnam has ordered commercial banks not to increase the fees they charge customers for using automated teller machines, saying the use of cards needs to be encouraged.
The order comes amid reports that several banks plan to raise their ATM fees for transactions made by their own clients as well as card owners of other banks.
News website VnExpress said some lenders wanted to begin charging up to VND3,300 on every cash withdrawal by its clients.
In a statement on its website Thursday, the central bank said local banks are not allowed to increase ATM charges this year. It also asked the Vietnam Bank Card Association to create plans for such fee increases, if needed, and inform the public of when such hikes will take effect.
Vietnam's banks had issued 40 million cards by the end of 2011, according to data compiled by Reuters.
The country's current population is 87 million.
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