New report calls for an end to unfair ATM charges

Australian consumers are still being hit hard by 'unfair' ATM charges, it has been argued.

Back in 2009, the RBA launched a range of new rules geared towards making ATM charges more transparent, with the authorities claiming that these would help make high street banking more competitive and eventually lead to the end of fees.

However, according to a new report from the consumer watchdog CHOICE and the Australian Institute, consumers are still not fully aware of the amount they will pay to use a machine, with many only learning that they will be charged $2 for carrying out a simple task such as checking their balance when it is too late.

Commenting, CHOICE Better Banking campaign director Richard Lloyd acknowledged that the recent reforms have helped encourage consumers to use their own bank's ATMs, though the $2 fee for foreign transactions has not come down as planned.

"And for people who check their balance before making a withdrawal at the same ATM the total charge is often a complete rip-off at $4," he added.

As well as scrapping fees for balance enquiries, the new report also calls for the federal regulators to collect and publish data on the costs and revenues generated by ATMs across Australia.

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