Australian paying more bank fees than US and Britain

AUSTRALIANS pay more in bank fees than customers in Britain and US annually, according to a new report from Fujitsu Consulting bank surveys. The Fujitsu Consulting bank fee survey of 2009 reported that Australian households are paying about $1000 a year for their banking services, while in Britain is less than $749 and less than $850 in United States.

Despite the economic downturn this year, the reports predicted that fees is going to increase about 10 percent above the inflation rate of 3.7 per cent. The study also found the following results about Australian Banks.

1.Charge higher fees for additional credit cards (higher than U.S & Britain)
2.Higher fees for overlimit credit (higher than U.S & Britain)
3..Have higher fees on their transaction accounts
3.Charge more to use ATMs overseas and for foreign transactions
4.Make customers pay higher charges for overdrafts.

"Australia has a greater range of fees and higher rates than Britain and the US, which are the most closely comparable markets to Australia." Mr North said many types of Australian bank fees were almost unheard of overseas.

"Personal loans in Britain usually have either no application fees or only $50 in Australia, banks charge $150," he said. "In Australia, banks typically charge $20 for a second credit card in Britain there is no charge, in the US they sometimes charge $3-$5 to make the card." Penalty es ftr early repayments for mortgages were another area Mr Martin said Australians were getting slugged, compared with overseas.

"Consumers are being charged up to $2000 for early repayment, whereas in the US and Britain they almost don ’t exist," he said. Even when British and US banks do charge similar fees, their Australian counterparts charge more. "When you spend over on your credit card in Australia, banks charge penalty rates which are higher than is charged overseas."

"In Britain, the Government has stepped in to regulate fees to make sure they correspond to the costs to the bank, but there is no requirement for bank charges to bear any relationship to the actual cost here," he said.

The news comes as a banking expert says that Australian banks are "regaining pricing power" in an ominous sign that they may start to hike charges even more in the coming months.

David Morgan, former boss of Westpac, said the withdrawal of many foreign banks and weakness among the non-banks meant that the big players could consolidate their position and raise prices.
Even taking into consideration increased funding costs, Mr Morgan said these extra expenses could generally be passed on to consumers.

Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn said the fact Australians pay the highest fees comes as little surprise.

Summaries from
Cairns Post, Queensland,

No comments: