Mozo finds ATM fee reforms have failed

Thursday 04 March 2010

Article by Mozo

Financial comparison website mozo.com.au has found many Australian consumers are paying more in ATM fees now than they were 12 months ago.

This week marks the first anniversary of reforms introduced by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to allow ATM owners to charge customers directly for using their machines.

The reforms were designed to encourage competition and bring ATM fees down yet analysis by Mozo, who looked at 37 different transaction accounts from 22 different banks, found that on 15 of those accounts, the average customer is now paying more in transaction costs than a year ago.

It was also discovered that there has been no change in ATM fees on 17 accounts, while there are only five accounts where the average customer is paying less.

The most affected by the change are customers of smaller, innovative banks and financial institutions which used to allow free transactions at other banks’ ATMs, such as customers of CUA, AMP Bank, BankWest, Newcastle Permanent, IMB, Rural Bank and Citibank.

Rohan Gamble, managing director of Mozo, said: "These reforms have simply played into the hands of the Big Four banks at the expense of the challenger brands and Australian consumers."

While consumers can reduce ATM fees by seeking out their own bank’s ATMs, RBA statistics show may do not do this.

Only 60 per cent of ATM withdrawals are made from ATMs belonging to a customer’s own bank, up only slightly from 56 per cent just before the changes a year ago.

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