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Mexico's Senate eyes passage of bills on banking fee cuts by October

Ricardo Monreal, the Mexican Senate's majority leader, said the assembly looks to pass a group of bills that would reduce banking fees by the end of October, Reuters reported.

The new timeline is shorter than the December schedule previously mentioned by Monreal.

In "two weeks [we'll] pass an initial package of initiatives," Monreal told Reuters, adding that the first batch of bills would revise 32 articles and three laws. One of the package's recommendations is to waive certain fees and charges for bank accounts smaller than 18,700 Mexican pesos.

Once approved, the bills would be passed to the Senate's lower house. MORENA, whose members include Monreal and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, holds majorities together with its allies in both chambers.

The MORENA party floated a controversial bill in November 2018, before the current administration took power, to scrap certain commissions charged by banks. The development sent shockwaves across Mexico's banking sector, where fee and commission income represent a significant portion of profits.

Meanwhile, the country's Congress will approve a bill that will levy a value-added tax, currently at 16%, on digital businesses, including Inc., Uber Technologies Inc. and Google LLC, Monreal said.

The proposal also requires platforms such as Netflix Inc. to produce at least 30% of their Mexican programming within the country, according to Monreal.

As of Oct. 16, US$1 was equivalent to 19.20 Mexican pesos.