Fees encourage bank account switching

Aussies who feel they are paying too much in account fees could consider changing their banking behaviour, a commentator has said.

Robert MacDonald, a columnist for the Courier Mail, found that Australian banks are currently making more than $11 billion in fee income, including more than $1 billion in late fees and credit card penalties.

Mr MacDonald quoted advice by the Australian Bankers Association, which last year claimed that customers could avoid up to a third of fees by changing their banking arrangements.

He added that once faced with fees, people often have few options but to seek legal advice. "One of Australia’s most impressive growth sectors in recent years has been the ombudsman industry," he added.
Mr MacDonald’s comments may serve as a warning to anyone already facing a financial squeeze in other areas.

Last week the government raised the repayment rate on overpaid welfare benefits, a rise which takes effect from this month. Pensioners will be among the worst hit by the rise and face losing up to $92.38 per fortnight, the Daily Telegraph said.

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