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Fitch analyst: Elimination of some fees to impact Colombian banks

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Fitch analyst: Elimination of some fees to impact Colombian banks

The elimination of some banking charges would affect the credit profile of Colombian financial institutions, Alejandro Garcia, Fitch Ratings' ratings head of financial institutions for Latin America, told La República.

Fitch views banking commissions as a credit positive because they are a "more recurrent" and "more stable" source of income, Garcia said. Restrictions on the fees would "affect the credit profile of the banks because they will no longer have that income diversification, or at least, not with the same relative contribution," the analyst noted, adding that the move would increase the credit risk for banks.

Garcia believes the Colombian financial system is "relatively strong" given players with robust and diversified profiles, attributes that allowed them to thrive during economic cycles. Colombia's banking industry, one of the biggest in Latin America, accounts for 50% of the country's GDP.

A bill seeking to cut some financial service fees, including the handling fees for cards and balance inquiries, has advanced in Congress and is now up for debate.