Australian Banks are apparently not making enough profits so have announced new ATM fees including a “disloyalty” fee for using another bank’s ATM machine. The new fees means that we could be paying $5.00 for a visit to an ATM! Read more about the plans here.
This has to represent all that is bad about our banking system and the way that banks are taking advantage of technology. Firstly, how can anyone suggest that we do not suffer under an evil cartel. The bank leaders in Australia could form a synchronised swimming team and not even have to practice before winning gold at the Olympics. Secondly, can you imagine any bank having the gall to require their tellers to demand $5.00 from customers before serving them? Unfortunately, it’s easy to rip an estimated $200 million per year from customers when it’s done by a machine!
OK, maybe their synchronised actions do not qualify as a cartel in the legal sense, but I’m sure that Joe Citizen wold be unimpressed by arguments that it is pure coincidence that the banks all raise and lower interest and fees by remarkably similar amounts, generally within hours of each other.
Anyway, inspired by a campaign against a stupid copyright law change in New Zealand which has seen the Twitter trend #blackout reach Number One spot, I’m launching #disloyalty to see if we can send a message to any banks considering this unfair fee.
At the time of the launch, a search of recent tweets referring to the disloyalty fee found just one result from @sdipietr
And another thing, I’d love to hear an explanation from from St George (Westpac) why a credit card charge in a shop is reflected in my account balance in real time, but the reversal of the same transaction – 5 minutes later, same credit card, same eftpos machine, same computer system, same everything except the direction of the money flow – takes 3 or 4 days to be reflected in my balance.