For some time now, there has been talk of possible new conditions for banks to access bank accounts, as well as a significant increase in fees for their customers, in the event of failure to meet a number of requirements.
It is true that the situation we are experiencing as a result of the appearance of Covid-19 has dealt a severe blow to the banking sector, which no longer had the best prospects and, moreover, is looking worse in the future. In this respect, banking needs to be strengthened, either by lowering its costs, as in the case of the mergers that are taking place, or by the aforementioned increase in commissions to its customers.
In the current situation, the zero interest rates defined, in part by the European Central Bank, will last longer than expected, which indirectly influences the income and profits of the banks.
Many clients of various banks have received during this year 2020, the documentation sent by their banks informing them of the new conditions affecting, above all, the maintenance of their current accounts.
Unfortunately, this new strategy followed by the banks has some justification. At present, the banking sector obtains as we have mentioned, little profitability, so the easiest way to increase it is, on the one hand, by cutting costs in the form of branch closures and, on the other hand, in direct relation to the customer and increase in commissions and fees.
What can bank customers do in the face of rising commissions?
The first thing customers should know is that some of these fees are not applicable in cases where you have your salary paid by direct debit, or have a financial product available at the bank.
It is therefore to be expected that many current accounts will be closed, putting an end to the custom of having several diversified current accounts at different banks, and centralising everything in a single account in order to reduce commissions or avoid them.
What kind of fees will be affected?
The charges that the banks will start with can be summarized in four main types:
– Account maintenance fee: bank customers will receive these fees on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annual basis. They can be charged on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annual basis. The bank will charge for keeping the account open to cover management costs.
– Administration fee: although less common, this consists of fees for each movement that occurs on the account. That is, transfers, payments, deposits or withdrawals.
– Card maintenance fee: many banks will offer the card free of charge for the first year, and will then charge an annual maintenance fee.
– Fee for ordinary bank transfers: not all banks are members of this scheme. There are alternatives such as Bizum to avoid such transfers.