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Advocacy group calls to reduce bank transfer fees

Jim Morris

By Jim Morris, 24 hours



To most people $7 is a small amount, but to Gloria Yogyog it can make the difference in feeding a family in the Philippines.

Yogyog was among a dozen protesters who gathered outside the Bank of Montreal’s downtown Vancouver office Thursday to demand a reduction in fees charged for funds transferred out of Canada.

The protest was organized by Acorn Canada, a group representing low-income families. Acorn is concerned BMO is teaming up with Western Union to offer international money transfers.

Currently, it can cost 12% to send $100, Yogyog said. Acorn supports proposed legislation in Ontario that would cap transfer fees at 5%.

Yogyog said the $7 saved could buy rice in the Philippines, her home country.

"It can feed a family for one week," she said.

The group hoped to present Joanne Gassman, a senior vice-president with the bank, a letter outlining their concerns. She did not meet the protesters but a bank official said he would deliver the letter to her.

"We hope she will think about it," Yogyog said.


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