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Mexican banks pledge to end fees on digital banking

Mexican banks have committed to eliminate banking fees on all digital accounts, El Financiero reported, citing Luis Niño de Rivera, the incoming president of banking association ABM.

The initiative should be supported by a continued adoption of digitization, which allows for lower costs, Niño de Rivera said.

The official also said banks are looking to lower the costs associated with remittances, noting that this effort should be achieved through increased competition.

Niño de Rivera, who is chairman of Banco Azteca SA Institución de Banca Múltiple, replaces Marcos Martínez Gavica as the association's new president, with a term ending in 2021.

Meanwhile, Mexico's Senate will ask Banco de México to conduct a study on all commissions charged by banks and, if necessary, implement regulatory measures that will not adversely affect market competition, El Economista reported. The proposal aims to assess the effect of a modification or the removal of banking fees on the financial system.

Specifically, the central bank will be tasked to analyze each of the banking fees and propose a solution specific to the type of commission, as a blanket regulation may not address varying issues.

Minerva Hernández Ramos, a proponent of the study, said economic competition regulator Cofece has identified some possible effects of banning the collection of commissions, including an increase in charges for other items or services as well as heightened market concentration.

The issue of commissions has stirred debate in recent months after a member of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's party proposed eliminating certain fees charged by banks. However, the president has since distanced himself from the plan, saying the "government's position is not to promote reform initiatives that may generate distrust in investors."