Taipei, July 16 (CNA) The Consumers' Foundation urged the government Monday to review the standardized contracts of several major banks in Taiwan that are requiring depositors to keep a minimum balance for their accounts to accrue interest.
A study conducted by the foundation in late June showed that the eight of Taiwan's 10 biggest banks have the requirement.
The eight banks were Shanghai Commercial & Savings Bank, Taipei Fubon Bank, Taishin International Bank, Taiwan Cooperative Bank, Citibank Taiwan, Cathay United Bank, Hua Nan Commercial Bank, and Chang Hwa Commercial Bank.
Most of the banks require account holders to have a minimum balance of at least NT$10,000 (US$333.21) in their savings accounts to earn interest, but Cathay United Bank offered an alternative allowing a NT$5,000 minimum balance, the report said.
Five of the banks even stipulate that interest only accrues on multiples of NT$100 in the account. In an account with a balance of NT$10,099, for example, the NT$99 would not earn interest.
The five banks are Shanghai Commercial & Savings Bank, Taipei Fubon Bank, Taiwan Cooperative Bank, Hua Nan Commercial Bank, and Chang Hwa Commercial Bank.
Consumers' Foundation Chairwoman Joann Su called on the Financial Supervisory Commission, Taiwan's top financial regulator, to inspect the banks' contracts.
She called the NT$10,000 minimum balance requirement too high and also contended that the basis for calculating interest was unfair to consumers.
(By Huang Chiao-wen and Hanna Liu)