Banks signal readiness to reduce ATM fees

DDP/The Local
DDP/The Local - [email protected] • 26 Mar, 2010 Updated Fri 26 Mar 2010 08:34 CEST
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German Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner said on Friday promised a solution to soaring cash machine withdrawal fees was on its way, as banks have signalled a willingness to agree to an upper limit.

Bank customers tired of fees that reach as high as €10 may find relief in the coming weeks, Aigner told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.

Germany’s banks charge unusually high fees by international standards, particularly for unaffiliated customers.

But the banks have shown a readiness to adhere to an obligatory limit and inform customers of the fee at the beginning of their cash machine transaction, Aigner said.

"I am expecting it," she said.

While she could not yet name what the limit would be, Aigner ensured it would definitely be “below the current level,” making a sum of €5 “the high limit and not the average price,” even for unaffiliated customers.

The minister also told Deutschlandfunk that polls showing a serious loss of trust in banks due to pressure on employees to push financial products should be a “major warning signal.”

Aigner planned to discuss reforms with the country’s banking association on Friday, she said.

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