Banks lower ATM fees
Several German banks have lowered their ATM charges for withdrawing money from rivals' accounts, following government intervention.
According to a report in the weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, some banks have more than halved their ATM withdrawal fees from over €10 to less than €5.
At the beginning of the year, the German government forced banks to make their ATMs show how much a withdrawal would cost.
The aim was to foster competition by giving customers more chance to choose the cheapest place to withdraw cash.
The measure seems to have had an effect, with Sparkasse branches in Anhalt-Bitterfeld and Niederlausitz, singled out as the worst offenders, reducing fees from ten euros to €4.95. The private banks that belong to the Cash Group have agreed a flat fee of €1.95.
An online consumer survey conducted in early February by the site biallo.de found that the average cost of using a non-affiliated ATM had fallen to €3.93, around €1.70 less than it was before the new regulations.