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Banks to display extra ATM fees

The Local · 13 Jan 2011, 16:58

Published: 13 Jan 2011 16:58 GMT+01:00

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This weekend will hopefully mark the end of spiralling ATM charges following months of haggling between banks, consumer associations and government officials.

The cost for each withdrawal at a non-affiliated bank will displayed on the screen so that customers can decide whether they wish to pay up, or shop around by finding a cheaper option elsewhere. ATMs not yet updated will have a warning sticker.

However, there is not yet one uniform fee policy for all banks. Charges will vary depending on whether a withdrawal is made at a large private bank or a co-operative banks like Volksbank and savings bank such as Sparkasse.

The CashGroup (Postbank, Deutsche Bank, HypoVereinsbank, Commerzbank) will now charge a maximum of €1.95 for withdrawing money from an ATM run by the banks in group.

Savings and co-operative banks, which have the largest network of ATMs in Germany, have refused to follow the private banks and will be able to fix their own fees for non-customer withdrawals. Most Sparkasse branches are expected to charge between €3.50 and €5.

The move also marks a change to the cash machine fee system. Previously, the bank managing each ATM invoiced other banks with the cost of the withdrawal, who then charged their customers through their accounts. Under the new system, the cost to the customer comes directly at the moment they withdraw their cash.

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Previously, banks had been heavily criticized by consumer advocates for charging as much as €10 per withdrawal by customers belonging to rival financial institutions.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:00 January 13, 2011 by Clapoti
Wow finally... once again Germany is how many decades behind other countries ???
23:15 January 13, 2011 by Alofat
@Clapoti: at least we understand that checks are a waste of good wood.
14:39 January 14, 2011 by Gretl
@Alofat: Who are you talking about? I haven't used a check in 20 years.
16:23 January 15, 2011 by tallady
Me either,,I use my C/C or debit card,,I am glad this has finally taken place ,,never liked that screen that says" other charges may apply" ... ,,better late than never.
16:24 January 16, 2011 by authun
In Austria, none of the banks charge any customer of any other bank in the country a dime for ATM services (or at least it used to be so just a few years back).

The abominable word is "cooperation". Perhaps the rest of the Western world might (re-)acquaint themselves with the idea.

@Greti: Who cares if you don't use them when there are plenty of dinosaurs in the States who do (and back up queues for ages in the process)?

P.S. It seems that, in Germany, competition leads to price-gouging at the expense of the consumer (who else?). Maybe these Otto and MediaMarkt monopolies aren't so deplorable after all...
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