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Banks at odds over max ATM fees

DDP/The Local · 18 Aug 2010, 15:19

Published: 18 Aug 2010 15:19 GMT+02:00

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The country’s savings banks, credit unions and private banks are unlikely to present a common solution by the deadline set forth by the Federal Cartel Office, insiders told financial daily Handelsblatt.

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

In July the Federal Cartel Office formally rejected a €5 fee limit by the banking associations, telling them the amount was still too high.

According to Handelsblatt, the central credit committee (ZKA) plans to meet again on August 25, but experts aren’t expecting results.

“No one really believes that it will come to a collective position there,” a ZKA member told the paper.

Private banks, savings banks, and credit unions all have different ideas, the paper reported.

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Private banks want to cap ATM fees at €2, but savings banks and credit unions want no limits, saying that banks should only be required to inform customers how much they would be charged.

If the ZKA fails to come up with a new fee limit scheme, the Federal Cartel Office has threatened to investigate banks for anti-trust violations.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:08 August 18, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
2 EUR is acceptable. I think 1 EUR should be more than enough, though. There is really little to no operational cost here, and it's all just pure profit for the banks.
20:42 August 18, 2010 by ngwanem

5€ is tantamount to pure robbery - a few steps short of selling money internally at the expense of bank customers and the gain of the banks!

2 € should be more than enough, else the banks should be investigated.

These banks charge people, grow rich on these extra gains and of course waste the money on stupid things - i recall watching a short new report on camping parties at a Spanish beach 2 weeks ago, where participants literally bathed each other in jets of expensive champagne, totaling a cost of about half a Million Euros!!!

Guess: most of them were bankers, stock brokers, real estate agents - all the actors that benefited from the financial crisis and other devious means of squeezing the bucks from us.
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