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Low growth in bank fees

The proportion of household spending on bank fees is at its lowest level since 1999.

The Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) said yesterday Australian households have seen a small increase in the total amount of fees paid for banking services, the first increase in household bank fees for four years.

“While we have seen a small increase in the total fees paid by households, this is in line with the increase in economic growth and the resulting increase in demand for banking services by individuals,” ABA chief executive Steven Münchenberg said.

“It is also less than the growth in average wages.

“In fact, the amount of household spending that goes on bank fees is at its lowest level since 1999,” he said.

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"Last year, households paid around $1 billion less in fees than four years previously."

The ABA found that households are also paying less in fees for bank accounts, home loans, personal loans and credit cards than in 2009.

"Bank fees paid by business also grew by the smallest amount in seven years, with fees paid by small business growing less than one per cent, significantly less than the level of economic growth," Mr Münchenberg said.

The ABA’s Fees for Banking Services 2014 Report found that in 2013 bank fees paid by households grew by 2.3 per cent and those paid by all businesses grew by 2.8 per cent, but with fees from small business growing by only 0.7 per cent.

“There are a number of reasons households are paying less in bank fees than a few years ago,” Mr Münchenberg said.

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“Banks have reduced and abolished many fees, and customers are choosing fee-free or lower-cost banking options,” he said. “For an average household, this all means the amount they spend on bank fees as a proportion of all their spending is now at the lowest level since 1999.”

 

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