Well it isn’t the sort of headline we’ve become accustomed to reading over the years, but it’s true, banks are reducing their banking fees, and most of the changes are taking effect from this month.
NAB was first to move in July when it announced it was abolishing some fees effective from October (then actually did so ahead of schedule on 7 September).
Of course true to form the other major banks swiftly followed suit with their own versions. There’s quirks in the way they’ve all done it, so best to check your own account for the exact details, but essentially it’s a major reduction in all those nasty “exception fees” as the banks delicately tend to call them (or in real language, when you don’t do something within their rules) – so things like overdrawing an account, late payment and dishonour fees.
NAB actually had in their press release, “this is a good decision for our business because it is the right thing for our customers” – wow, if only they applied that logic more often!
But while the fanfare has been about personal accounts, what about business accounts? Let’s dig a little deeper…
What’s interesting is that what while personal customers have benefited across the board, business customers haven’t been looked after as well, and it’s quite a mixed bag:
– NAB, who got the kudos of moving first, made no mention of business accounts (should we refer them back to the above quote!?)
– ANZ, who were last to follow, and don’t make their changes effective until 15 December, also ignore business customers. Seems they’ve followed the others kicking and screaming on all fronts!
– CBA, Westpac and St George have all applied their changes to business customers as well as personal customers (hooray!)
So are the banks trying to send us a message about which of them care about us business customers?
– Rohan Gamble is the founder and managing director of independent finance comparison website Mozo.com.au – helping Australians compare loans, credit cards, savings and other banking products.