Bank blames rising operating costs for higher charges The city's largest bank will raise fees on cash deposit account services, citing rising operating costs. From August 1, HSBC customers will be charged $50, instead of $40, if their rolling average account balance for the previous three months is below $5,000. The same monthly fee will be incurred for renminbi savings if the balance falls below $5,000 yuan. But citizens over 65 and recipients of disability or social security allowances will be exempted. A $50 fee will also be imposed on a savings account holder if their account has been inactive for two years with a balance below $2,000 over that period. The charge will be levied every six months that the balance continues to be lower than the threshold requirement. Currently, the fee is charged only if the account balance is below $1,000. The fine for having cheques returned due to insufficient funds will also increase, from $100 to $110. 'The adjustments are to keep up with operating costs and they are not above the market rate,' a spokeswoman for the bank said, adding that 'most banks have such charges'. She said those who wanted to avoid the $50 charge for inadequate deposits could use the bank's easy saving service which allowed free deposit services and had no threshold requirement. The fee adjustments came about three months after the bank introduced several fee changes. From May 1, the bank raised the late credit card payment charge from a minimum of $100 to $130. It also introduced a new charge of $120 when the bank is asked by customers to investigate money transfer errors through ATMs.