Banks charge a fee for al­most ev­ery ser­vice

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - OPINION -

Cyprus bank cus­tomers are charged for vir­tu­ally ev­ery trans­ac­tion pos­si­ble as banks are im­pos­ing fees for even main­tain­ing a sim­ple cur­rent ac­count or with­draw­ing cash with the as­sis­tance of a cashier.

A web­page set up by the Fi­nance Min­istry presents charges im­posed by Cypriot banks, for con­sumers to be aware of, and com­pare.

Ac­cord­ing to the site, avail­able only in Greek, Bank of Cyprus charges EUR 12 per year for main­tain­ing a cur­rent ac­count of up to EUR 3,000, with fees in­creas­ing ac­cord­ing to the amount de­posited. For amounts in ex­cess of EUR 1 mln, the charge is EUR 2,000.

Hel­lenic Bank charges re­tail clients for main­tain­ing their cur­rent ac­count be­tween EUR 12 and EUR 24 per year, while CDB Bank charges up to EUR 50 for in­di­vid­u­als.

The Hous­ing Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion charges clients EUR 12 and An­co­ria Bank EUR 10.

Astrobank’s charges start at EUR 12 for ac­counts up to EUR 5,000, with charges reach­ing EUR 1,600 for amounts over EUR 1 mln.

Eurobank charges EUR 20 for clients with in­ter­na­tional ac­tiv­i­ties, while lo­cal re­tail clients are not charged.

RCB does not ap­ply any charges if the av­er­age monthly bal­ance of all ac­counts is at least EUR 10,000 or monthly trans­ac­tions of all cards are a min­i­mum EUR 1,000.

If the av­er­age monthly bal­ance of all ac­counts is less than EUR 10,000 or the monthly trans­ac­tions of all cards do not ex­ceed EUR 1,000, the bank charges EUR 60 per year.

USB charges re­tail clients a fee of EUR 24 and in­ter­na­tional clients EUR 100, while the Na­tional Bank of Greece (Cyprus) charges re­tail clients EUR 40 for de­posits up to EUR 15,000, EUR 80 for ac­counts up to EUR 50,000 and EUR 100 for ac­counts hold­ing de­posits of more than EUR 50,000.

Al­pha Bank does cur­rent ac­count.

not

charge

for

main­tain­ing

a

re­tail

Mean­while, banks have be­gun charg­ing for sim­ple trans­ac­tions made by clients at the tills of their branches or rais­ing al­ready ex­ist­ing charges with BoC and HB an­nounc­ing the rel­e­vant hikes ear­lier this year.

A typ­i­cal ex­am­ple is BoC’s in­tro­duc­tion of a charge on cash with­drawals made with the as­sis­tance of a bank cashier in March. Cash with­drawals at the till are charged from 15 cents to EUR 2 at the till.

Hel­lenic Bank has in­tro­duced a fee of 15 cents for any lo­gis­tic ac­tion (e.g. trans­fers be­tween ac­counts of the same bank) tak­ing place at the till and 30c for cash with­drawals made with the as­sis­tance of a cashier.

Bank of Cyprus has also in­tro­duced a fee of 15c for trans­fers be­tween ac­counts, for trans­fers to a third party’s ac­count and for de­posits in a third ac­count.

Hel­lenic Bank does not charge for trans­fers be­tween ac­counts of the same cus­tomer within the bank if the amount is un­der EUR 5,000.

Bank of Cyprus in­creased the fee for is­su­ing a cheque book to EUR25 from EUR15 when the book­let is or­dered from the branch net­work and to EUR 16 from EUR 6 when the book­let is or­dered on­line.

Fur­ther­more, the bank will be charg­ing a fee of EUR2 for cash­ing checks is­sued by BoC, whereas un­til now there was a fee only for the re­demp­tion of cheques is­sued by other lo­cal banks.

The Min­istry of Fi­nance cre­ated the web­page in or­der to im­ple­ment Ar­ti­cle 8 of the Law on Com­pa­ra­bil­ity of Fees re­lated to Pay­ment Ac­counts of 2017 [Law 64 (I) / 2017], un­der which the min­istry must en­sure that con­sumers have free ac­cess to at least one fee-com­par­i­son web­site. http://www.mof.gov.cy/mof/Com­parefees/com­parefees.nsf/ind ex_gr/in­dex_gr?open­doc­u­ment

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