Banks hike cash machine fees
A slew of German banks have begun charging their customers fees of up to €10 for using non-affiliated cash machines, a survey by consumer financial services company FMH showed on Thursday.
In a comparison of 200 banks, the survey found that the average such fee has risen by 13 percent in the last half year to reach €5.64, according to the survey cited by daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.
But other banks have moved to almost double this – charging up to €10 to get cash from other banks’ machines.
“The dramatic increase is no longer acceptable,” spokesperson for the VZVB German consumer protection agency Frank-Christian Pauli told the paper, adding that direct banks and branch banks are placing their competition quarrels on the backs of customers.
Providing cash to customers at ATMs actually costs banks just €0.60 per transaction, he said, Max Herbst, owner of FMH said.
Herbst recommended that consumers check their bank statements carefully to find out which banks are charging the most and avoid them.
Another solution for avoiding the exorbitant fees is using a Visa credit card cash advance, for which banks will only charge €1.74, Herbst said.
According to FHM’s survey, the following banks all now charge €10 fees to use cash machines at other institutions: DKB, Raiba-Voba Donauwörth, Sparda Südwest, Sparda-Bank West, Sparkasse Fürstenfeldbruck , Sparkasse Landshut, Stadtsparkasse Fürt , Voba Kaiserslautern-Nordwestpfalz, VR-Bank Coburg, PSD Bank Hessen-Thüringen.