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Soaring ATM fees targeted by parliament

DDP/The Local · 17 Mar 2010, 08:27

Published: 17 Mar 2010 08:27 GMT+01:00

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Hans-Michael Goldmann, the chairman of the Bundestag's consumer protection committee, told the Saarbrücker Zeitung he wanted to move against what he considered unjustifiably high fees.

German customers are charged unusually high fees by international standards when they use an ATM belonging to a bank that does not have a deal with the customer’s own financial institution.

“We are aiming for an agreement with banks that they charge fees only within a specific range of between €5 and €7,” he said.

The costs associated with linking banks’ automatic teller machine networks did not justify the high fees, he said.

Goldmann also blasted Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner’s lack of action.

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“The consumer protection committee sees itself as the driving force in getting the responsible minister to act against the high ATM fees,” he said.

The committee plans to discuss the issue Wednesday in a hearing with bank representatives. An investigation by financial services firm FMH found that fees for customers using non-affiliated ATMs had climbed in the past six months by 13 percent to average €5.64, though some banks were charging €10.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:23 March 17, 2010 by Legal E
Swap your bank to Austria as simple as that. They do not charge for ATM usage.
10:11 March 17, 2010 by dcgi
This is just like text message sending fees from the mobile networks; just another service which we pay 100's, even 1000's of % markup to use.

They'll stay on the gravy train until a law is passed which stops them from pulling this crap, I wouldn't be surprised of a backdoor price fixing scam between banks, there usually is for guaranteed money earners like this.

There should at least be law passed which states that a mandatory screen before dispensing the cash must appear much like the UK does now stating the transactional fee that you will pay on top of the amount you're getting out, when people see this I think you'll see a big shift/outrage in atm fee's.
10:36 March 17, 2010 by design
banks and bankers are the devil
11:34 March 17, 2010 by mobiusro
As if 5-7 euros was small enough!! It used to be 4 euros for Pete's sake! Now they applied the old tactics, make it 10, people will cry and they will go back to the 5-7 euros interval so that people will have the feeling they've won a round against the greedy banks.
13:47 March 17, 2010 by Clapoti
5-7 euros is still too high. I still have a bank account in Canada and withdrawing money from Germany is 2.50$... I'm more than 6000 km away and that's what they charge, then if I withdraw from the Sparkasse with my Postbank account I pay like 6€ last time I did it, never again.
17:37 March 17, 2010 by Bushdiver
Does this really surprise anyone. Banks have been ripping off customers one way or another for decades and they don't even need a mask or weapon to do it. Now, how about the Finanzamt?
19:08 March 17, 2010 by michael4096
This is just like text message sending fees from the mobile networks; just another service which we pay 100's, even 1000's of % markup to use.…
At least you are putting bread on someone's plate with sms's. That isn't true with banks.
22:05 March 17, 2010 by caveman64
I can tell as a non-native to europe, that the fees are extremely high. It seems to me that if I keep a certain amount of money in the bank,that, for the amount of interest the bank makes on my money, I should be able to withdraw for no cost.
05:36 March 18, 2010 by peschvogel
Prices in Europe are only going higher due to no inflation, deflation & a high euro with no exports. The bank fees are too pay off the debts the government never informed you about. The entire German banking system is hiding massive over-leveraged debts and now passing it on to you, the loyal customer.
18:05 March 19, 2010 by mikekoi
Banks should charge a monthly fee for current accounts and enter into a shared agreement with other financial institutions to fund the ATM's from that charge. If it were similar to a Bank in UK you would be talking about 12 Euro a month payment and zero ATM charges if I use only Link machines.
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