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Banks' €5 ATM fee cap rejected

The Local · 7 Jul 2010, 10:28

Published: 07 Jul 2010 10:28 GMT+02:00

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A spokesman for the Federal Cartel Office told daily Financial Times Deutschland that the office had sent a letter to the banking associations on Monday rejecting the figure offered.

“The maximum fee is simply too high,” he told the paper, adding that the amount would have functioned like a fixed fee in the end because none of the banks were likely to charge less than the maximum.

The watchdog has for months been reviewing cash machine withdrawal fees, which average €5.64 but sometimes reach €10, even though experts estimate each transaction costs the bank €0.63.

These fees are high compared with other countries, particularly for customers using an ATM belonging to another bank with whom their own bank does not have a deal.

But the spokesman told the paper that the organisation did welcome the banks’ readiness to adhere to an obligatory limit and greater transparency about fees - a response to pressure from German Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner and consumer protection advocates.

Story continues below…

It is now up to the central credit committee (ZKA) to come up with a new fee limit scheme, or else face the threat of a Federal Cartel Office investigation over whether the bank fee system itself meets antitrust regulations, the paper said.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:36 July 7, 2010 by whatzup
The banking industry is as sleazy as it gets and it loves fees but hates any attention they get. Frau Aiger should keep the pressure on.
12:28 July 7, 2010 by scout1067
I would love to see the bank fees come down. I would guess the banking industry will come up with another way to make for the lost revenue though.
12:41 July 7, 2010 by moreanon
I've a free bank account - no monthly fee and no atm fees. Are there none of those in Germany (I live in Ireland)?
13:09 July 7, 2010 by JohnnesKönig
Considering how much money these scumbags make, it could cost them €1 per transaction and it would still never be felt. I pay no fee with my bank as long as I use the machines with the EC logo... Serve the customer and you will keep them! Rob him and he will seek an alternative...
16:04 July 7, 2010 by michael4096
I've a free bank account ..
They're like free lunches. You always pay, you just don't always know how...
23:12 July 7, 2010 by snorge
a 20% fee over their cost should more than suffice fore these greedy asses also known as bankers....
09:01 July 8, 2010 by jillesvangurp
What about 0 euro per transaction, like in most of the civilized world? It's cheaper for me to use my foreign bank cards with German ATMs than it is for me to use my German bank card with most ATMs. I was withdrawing cash for free 20 years ago.

The whole point of an ATM, which stands for automated teller machine, is that it actually saves the bank money because they don't need to employ human beings to service their customers (which as I recall banks never charged for). The whole point of a bank is to manage people's cash and derive revenue by investing it smartly. How about giving customers interest instead of charging them to access their money. How about banks competing on how much interest they give to their customers and how quickly and conveniently they service their customers.

The notion of charging for this is obscene and a clear sign of banks not having to compete because they fixed the prices and service levels.
13:31 July 11, 2010 by shady
@ jillesvangurp

I agree with you, why should we pay to withdraw cash from an ATM?

Meanwhile, customer services sucks big time, you have to take at most a half day off from work to get to speak to a consultant in person( costing you a half days's pay).

And to top it up you are charged over €5 for a withdrawal, which actually only costs the bank about €0.63....

Banks are here to legally rip you of your earnings, and one is left with few choices...
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