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Some Spanish Banks charging commission on aid for Haiti

Wed 20th Jan 2010

After reports from the public that some Spanish banks have been charging commissions on donations for Haiti, several consumers associations, including Facua-Consumers in Action and Ausbanc, have demanded that they stop doing this on all funds being sent as humanitarian aid.

The commission has been applied when the money is transferred across banks - to be certain that all your money goes in aid it is advisable to make the donation in your own bank to an account held at the same bank or by credit card. You can also check at your branch if any commission is being charged. As with any bank transfer you can can ask the exact nature and amount of any such commissions to be applied.

Caja Madrid have now dropped their charges collaborating with several ONG's, as have Banco Sabadell, while la Caixa allows transfers by credit card for those who are not clients.

There is no legal obligation for banks to drop their commissions in such cases, but it has for some time been regarded as good practice for them to do so.

Sadly it has also been reported that some fraudsters are already sending out fake emails in the name of non-governmental organisations. FACUA commented that it is all too common in this type of tragedy.

Meanwhile in Haiti Spanish rescue teams are reported to be responsible for the rescue of between seven and ten trapped people, and continue to work at some sites. International teams as a whole have found 69 people alive.

The Spanish Embassy has now located 99 of the 111 Spaniards thought to have been on the island at the time of the quake a week ago. The Spanish Government has made a medium term pledge of 141 million in aid to Haiti to go in particular on the re-building of the capital Port-au-Prince.

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