A WELCOME change in the pension contribution system means part-time workers will no longer have to spend longer in employment to qualify for an earnings-based retirement fund – a move that is expected to affect around...
Bank charges up 44% in the last year
By thinkSPAIN Team Tue, Jan 17, 2012
The average customer now pays about 276€ per year for basic banking services, 21% more than in early 2011. The fee for having a debit card, for example, went from 17.3 to 20.25€ per year, 17% more expensive. The rising cost of doing a bank transfer is particularly controversial - it has risen 398% in the past seven years.
Customers requesting a mortgage quotataion are paying around 132€ this year on average; in early 2011, that same service cost 107€ on average.
The rising commissions mean that the average bank customer now pays in the region of 21% more for maintaining a current account, without taking into account any mortgages or additional loans they may have with the bank. Based on an average of about 12 transactions per year, as well having as a credit card and a debit card, with which the customer makes a least a dozen ATM cash withdrawals in 2010, the average customer paid about 228€ in 2010.
According to the latest data published by the Bank of Spain, the fees for these same services became notably more expensive last year, with the average commissions totalling about 276€.
Figures published by the Association of Bank Users (Adicae) suggest that bank fees are in fact considerably higher. Their latest study found that a customer with a current account, a savings account, a debit card and a credit card, who does five bank transfers per year paid 567€ in commission in 2011.
Basic financial services have almost quadrupled since 2004, with the increase in charges for a transfer being the most notable. The cost of this operation has risen 398% over the past seven years.
Financial institutions' commissions policy is a "drain on the economy of millions of families" according Adicae.
Those with lower incomes are once again hardest hit, with banks applying "regressive fees" with higher rates to those who have lower balances. Bankia, one of the country's leading banking institutions - which received more than 4 billion euros of public money last summer - has announced it will charge 2€ per month on accounts whose average balance does not exceed 2,000€.
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