From $20 fees to get something confirmed in writing to a 5 per cent coin handling cost – these are the insane bank charges that raking in more than $4b a year.
From $20 fees to get something confirmed in writing to a 5 per cent coin handling cost – these are the insane bank charges that raking in more than $4b a year.

Named and shamed: Banks still charging absurd fees

 Banks are taunting customers with outrageous fees for basic services including ringing up and asking for help or simply paying a bill.

Financial institutions continue to rake in billions from fees - latest Reserve Bank of Australia data showed in 2018 bank fee revenue totalled $4.189 billion.

This comes despite the financial services' Royal Commission which was completed in 2018 and in its final report it showed many institutions were dudding customers.

This included charging them fees for no service.

Banks are taunting customers with outrageous fees for basic services including ringing up and asking for help or simply paying a bill. Picture: iStock
Banks are taunting customers with outrageous fees for basic services including ringing up and asking for help or simply paying a bill. Picture: iStock

News Corp can reveal many pesky fees that financial institutions still threaten customers with or force them to pay under their terms and conditions. Some of the worst includes:

- An information fee. Mutual Bank charges a minimum of $20 and then $1 per minute retrieving documents when a customer asks for information to be provided in writing.

- Payment handling fees by Flexigroup of $0.95 when customers use BPAY to pay a bill.

- Direct debit fees. Beyond Bank hits customers with a $0.50 charge per direct debit.

- Suncorp charges a coin handling fee of 5 per cent of the total coin value.

- Cheques issued or cashed over the counter. The Commonwealth Bank may charge a customer a $3 withdrawal fee.

Some of these charges are able to be avoided if the customers meets certain criteria on their specific account.

Consumer group Choice's spokeswoman Erin Turner said it was "absurd" banks were still charging customers for basic services.

"It is a surprise to see some blatantly unfair and sneaky fees still in the market after the banking Royal Commission," she said.

"Charges to get information in writing, for example, are clearly counter to basic customer expectations.

"If your bank is charging you for direct debits or payments it's time to switch to a fee free savings account."

Consumers have been told to switch banks if they are being charged for basic services, Picture: iStock
Consumers have been told to switch banks if they are being charged for basic services, Picture: iStock

Some banks even charge customers renegotiation fees or rollover fees including when they switch their home loan from one fixed rate to another fixed rate term.

Financial comparison website RateCity's spokeswoman Sally Tindall said too often "banks sneak fees into the fine print when customers don't see them".

"They often seem like they are written in a foreign language, so it can be hard to understand exactly what the fee is for," she said.

"They are not at the front of their advertising and they are designed to be overlooked."

However there are many fee-free bank account options available to customers that allow them to avoid getting slugged.

Ms Tindall urged customers to check their banking statements to make sure they are not being charged with unnecessary fees.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth