Homeowners could be hit by extra fees as banks cover exit fee costs

Thousands of Australian homeowners will still have to pay exit fees should they wish to part ways with their home loan providers.

Just last week, the National Australia Bank (NAB) pledged to pay the exit fees of any mortgage holders joining it from its rivals, despite the fact that such a gesture could potentially cost it tens of millions of dollars.

And, while some economic observers have predicted that NAB's move will inject a new sense of competition into the retail banking sector, a number of big names have so far refused to change their policies on exit fees.

Furthermore, one expert has warned that, even if mortgage exit fees are scrapped, consumers could be still be forced to compare debit cards and shop around for the best value deals as they are hit with other fees and charges.

"The danger is that to pay for the changes banks . . . will raise fees and revenue in other ways," Richard Lloyd of Choice Banking told the Daily Telegraph.

Making its move, NAB stated that it no longer wants to be associated with its rivals, with Treasurer Wayne Swan welcoming the development.

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