Mexico Needs Law to Cut Bank Fees, Majority Whip Clouthier Says

(Bloomberg) -- Mexico sooner or later will pass a bill to cut bank fees and commissions but should carefully consider the timing of the legislation so as not to disrupt financial markets, said Tatiana Clouthier, the lower house deputy majority leader.

A bank fee bill "will proceed," Clouthier, whose ranking is the equivalent of a majority whip in the U.S., said in an interview late last month. That said, "not all battles should take place on the same day, and we have to be intelligent about when we fight."

Clouthier’s resolve on moving ahead with bank fee regulation in the house is in step with her Senate colleagues from the ruling Morena party, who’ve said they’ll go forward with a proposal even after the stock market plunged on the news in November. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in November, when he was still president elect, that there would be no banking law changes in the near future.

The benchmark stock index plunged in November -- sinking to a four-year low on Nov. 26 -- after Morena party senators backed proposals to eliminate some bank fees. The index has since erased some of its losses but remains near a three-year low.

But Clouthier, who ran Lopez Obrador’s election campaign, insisted such a bill will eventually be presented in order to bring down costs for consumer banking in Mexico, without offering an exact timeline. "This has to happen. Things aren’t sustainable as they are."

Lopez Obrador has veto power over any bill congress sends him.

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