Author: DavidBryde

Australians are paying too much for bank fees

The Reserve Bank’s annual survey on banks fees is out and while some commentators were celebrating the fact that bank fees for householders fell, our Product Manager David Bryde still thinks that Australians are paying far too much in bank fees. Do you agree?

 The results of the Reserve Banks’ (RBA) annual survey on bank fees were published on June 21, 2012. The RBA has conducted a survey on bank fees each year since 1997. 

Households were charged a staggering $4 billion in fees during the financial year. This is down from $4.3 billion in 2010. I don’t know about you but I still think that is far too much for Australians to be paying in fees. 

It’s true that fees on household deposit accounts have almost halved since 2009 but a closer look at the results (see table below) shows that banks’ aggregate fee income actually rose slightly in 2011.


Fees on household deposit accounts have been coming down largely due to the decline in exception fees on transaction accounts but the banks have entirely offset that reduction with increased fee income from businesses. 

Before anyone celebrates too hard, let’s be clear that banks’ total fee income is still over $11 billion and at a time where businesses are doing it tough, they’re effectively paying for the fee reductions that have been afforded to households. 

I agree with Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont who told AAP "It's a huge amount of money for Australians to be paying." As she advises, it’s well and truly time to “start thinking outside the big four banks”. 

At The Greater we’ve never charged account keeping fees on everyday transaction, savings or business accounts. We do charge some other fees but these are to recover transaction costs, not profit from them. We are very transparent with fees, have generous fee allowances and help our customers how to avoid fees wherever possible. 

About 45% of our personal customers and 65% of our business customers don’t pay any transaction fees on their everyday accounts. Our customers also don’t pay direct charge fees if they use a Greater ATM. 

Click here to see the tips we give our customers for avoiding or reducing transaction fees. If you are sick of bank fees for your personal banking or business banking then come and talk to The Greater.  

Do you agree that $11 billion in bank fees is too much? Share your thoughts below.