Banks have used the quiet period of holidays raise their fees, some even by 50 percent.
As the clients of certain banks complained to the Vecernje Novosti, they have been informed in the past days to come to their bank and sign a new service tariff contract or otherwise – they can leave the bank without paying any penalties. And banks, in addition to charging fees that they never charged before, such checking the account balance on their own ATMs or additional fees for electronic banking, have also raised their other commissions.
Since banks have recorded a lower revenue from charging interest rates due to lower interest rates on loans, amounting to entire 3 billion dinars in 2017, bankers are trying to compensate for this loss by charging various new fees quite successfully, including the aforementioned checking your account balance via an ATM or making payments via your mobile phone.
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At the same time, the existing fees have also significantly gone up, especially for various payments at the counter and sending warning notices that are now charged 50% more. So, the usual bank’s notice, informing the client that there are overdrawn now costs at least 300 dinars, checking your account balance at the ATMs is charged from 15 to 30 dinars, and twice as much if you check the balance at ATMs of other banks other than yours.
The National Bank of Serbia has announced that, in line the adopted amendments to the Law on Payment Services, banks will be obligated to show their fees on their websites. This is done so that bank clients can easily compare fees between banks and evaluate which bank charges the highest and which the lowest fees. The implementation of this law begins on March 17, 2019, but it is not yet known which bank fees exactly should be shown on websites. The guess is that the banks will probably have to show the highest and the most frequently charged fees.
“The law stipulates that the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) shall prescribe a list of at least ten, and up to twenty services related to payment for which clients pay fees and which should be posted on official websites of banks in Serbia”, a source from the NBS says.
The law also stipulates that the NBS shall adopt regulations relating to the implementation of this law, including a list of services, no later than December 16 this year.
“When it comes to compiling a list of these services, the NBS is currently conducting an analysis of European legal practice is, after which the list will be drafted. The criteria that the NBS will use in drafting the list are the frequency of the use of the certain service and the costs that the clients have to bear when using a particular service. The list will probably contain all the services relating to payments, since these are most often used, as well as those payment services that are the most expensive. This will provide greater transparency and facilitate client’s choice of payment service provider. The public will be informed promptly about what services will be stated on the list”, a source from the NBS adds.
Looking at the official websites of the local banks, it is noticeable that banks have been substantially changing their fees. They usual use the months of April and May, just before the holiday season, to change their fees to “align their prices with market trends”, as they say.
(Vecernje Novosti, 26.07.2018)
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