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Suncorp-Bendigo Bank ATM fee deal ‘pro-competitive’: ACCC

The ACCC believes an agreement between Suncorp-Metway and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank not to charge each others’ cardholders fees on each other’s ATM’s is good for competition.

ATM FeesSuncorp-Metway and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank were granted interim approval by the ACCC on the deal in June and the ACCC now seeks public comment over whether the deal is good for competition. This follows the changes introduced by the Reserve Bank of Australia in conjunction with the banking industry in March 2009 that permits ATM operators to charge customers directly for withdrawals rather than the bank who issued the card. Most banks do not charge their own cardholders for withdrawals.

Arrangements such as those proposed by Suncorp and Bendigo Bank provide customers of financial institutions with a smaller ATM footprint with direct fee free transactions at a wider range of ATMs.

“The ACCC considers the agreement between Suncorp and Bendigo Bank not to charge each others’ cardholders for ATM transactions will be pro-competitive, assisting to ensure that they are not at a competitive disadvantage to institutions with larger ATM networks,” ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.

The ACCC has previously authorised separate agreements between members of the rediATM network and members of the Feesmart network not to charge each others’ cardholders for transactions undertaken at any ATM within their network.

Bendigo Bank’s Head of Access and Payment Systems, Greg Devlin, said the bank was steadily making more ATMs available to its customers, with the network doubling to more than 1100 machines in just the past two years.

“That rapid growth will continue,” Mr Devlin said.

David Olsen

David Olsen

An undercover economist and a not so undercover geek. Politics, business and psychology nerd and anti-bandwagon jumper. Can be found on Twitter: <a href="http://www.twitter.com/DDsD">David Olsen - DDsD</a>

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