From the 1st of September the agreement between the National Bank of Serbia and private banks on freezing the prices of services fees and commissions will not be valid. This means that banks will be able to increase the prices of services such as online payments and account maintenance. One of them, Banca Intesa, has already announced this: account maintenance will be charged up to 799 dinars, depending on the account, and bank account statement 100 instead of 70 dinars.
If the banks decide to return the prices of their services to the level before the freeze, citizens will pay more for certain services than before. but they don’t know much about it.
At the moment, the price of basic banking service charge is 150 dinars per month and it includes: maintaining a current account in dinars, withdrawing cash at counters and ATMs, electronic or mobile banking, QR transactions and others.
The price of these and other services is determined by the banks themselves, but with the mandatory prior consent of the National Bank of Serbia. The increase is almost certain, according to the professor of the Faculty of Economics Dejan Šoškić: “On the one hand, some kind of reduced competition probably exists, so banks agree among themselves to charge more for some services than it would be the case under competitive conditions. But also on the other hand, that the economy is in some kind of recessionary path”, says Šoškić.
The banks will be able to increase the prices of those services that the citizens have already agreed on according to the current ones, states Šoškić.
Professor Šoškić, however, emphasizes that, despite carelessness, not all details of contracts with banks, especially credit contracts, are immutable. “Each client, when he shows the ability to regularly pay back his obligations to the bank, has already declared himself as someone who is creditworthy, and there is already a basis for some negotiation on possible reducing and abolishing some of the commissions,” explains Šoškić.
According to the Law on Payment Services, banks will have to inform clients at least two months in advance of possible changes before starting to charge for services according to the new price list.
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