New bank charges in the offing: survey

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 April, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 April, 2001, 12:00am

Updated at 2.29pm:
Small depositors can expect to be hit with raft of new bank charges and fees within the next few months, with a new survey showing most banks either have, or plan to introduce new policies.

A survey of bank charges on low balance accounts released by the Consumer Council on Thursday revealed eight out of 25 banks have already introduced minimum balance requirements and at least ten are reviewing their policies.

Citibank stipulates a minimum balance of $30,000, while in most other cases the lowest balance is set between $3,000 and $5,000. Service fees for accounts which fall below the minimum range between $25 to $50.

Customers with low bank balances also face cuts in interest rates of up to three per cent from 12 of the 25 banks surveyed.

At present a total of 10 banks do not stipulate a minimum balance or impose interest rate deductions on low balances, but most are expected to announce changes by July.