Big Four banks scrap $500 million in ATM withdrawal fees

Australia’s Big Four banks to scrap $500 million worth of ATM fees.

Big Four banks scrap $500 million in ATM withdrawal fees

The ‘Big Four’ Australian banks yesterday announced that they will no longer charge customers withdrawal fees at their ATMs across the country.

Gone are the days of being charged $2 to use another bank’s ATM, as customers can now use almost any automated teller to withdraw cash, fee free.

The foreign ATM fee was one of the most unpopular fees among Australians.

Yesterday morning, CommBank announced it would scrap the fee, with ANZ, Westpac and National Australia Bank following suit in the afternoon.

"We have been listening to consumer groups and our customers and understand that there's a need to make changes that benefit all Australians, this is one of the steps we're taking to make that happen," said Matt Comyn, CommBank’s Group Executive of Retail Banking Services.

"We know ATM fees are one of the most unpopular and while our customers have benefitted from our network of ATMs across the country, this is another example of acting on customer feedback as well as genuine reform from the industry," said ANZ Group Executive Fred Ohlsson.

"We know it has been frustrating for them to be charged to withdraw their own money from an ATM, and the change we are announcing today will benefit millions of Australians," said NAB’s Chief Customer Officer Andrew Hagger.

Last year, there were around 250 million withdrawals made in Australia, meaning the banks now stand to lose around $500 million.

The Federal Government was quick to claim credit for the fee cut, with Treasurer Scott Morrison saying it was government pressure that led to CBA’s decision.

"The Turnbull Government has been working hard to ensure bank customers get a better deal and this is further evidence we are getting results," said Mr Morrison.

The Opposition said the move to cut fees was a result of it calling for a banking royal commission.

Martin North from Digital Finance Analytics said the banks’ decision did not come as a surprise, as this type of revenue was down anyway and that the banks’ move to dump fees was a chance to capitalise on a failing model.

"There's no doubt that the volume of transactions through ATMs is falling as more and more people are paying for things by cards, swiping and those sort of things," he said.

"It's yesterday's banking model … the future is all about mobile payments and it's about pay and go and so perhaps there was always going to be a decrease in the revenue from this source.

"Maybe it's about picking the time to try and make a bit of a splash about it."

Opinion: Fee scrap a desperate move to regain favour

The banks’ scrapping of ATM fees may at first glance seem as if they’re doing us a favour, but the reality is that for years they’ve been charging us to withdraw our own money.

Sure, an ATM is a handy way to access cash without having to deal with a teller. But these ATMs also keep a bank’s overheads down, just not our costs.

And let’s not forget that we already pay around $4.4 billion in bank fees each year.

Think about it. The banks use our money to make record profits each year for their shareholders and pay multi-million dollar salaries to their executives. And once any profits go to those ‘up on high’, very few of us ‘down here’ actually see any real dividends.

Then consider the reports rolling in almost weekly about bank misconduct, money laundering, misrepresentation and unpaid worker’s superannuation.

Bill Shorten is right – it’s a rort.

No wonder then that millions of Australians have, in the past three years, jumped ship from one bank to another. It’s obvious that we’re becoming fed up with this racket.

Isn’t it time we had a banking royal commission? Aren’t you tired of the smoke and mirrors? Don’t you wonder how banks can charge higher fees whenever they feel like it, sack staff willy-nilly, increase rates, keep high credit interest rates stagnant and basically get away with financial fraud and aiding and abetting (albeit ‘unknowingly’) organised crime? To whom are the banks answerable? It seems no one or nothing.

The move to scrap ATM fees, while appreciated, is a sad attempt to curry favour from an increasingly disaffected, constantly confused, repeatedly ripped off and often disappointed customer base.

But hey, we’ll take it.

Are you happy to be paying less transaction fees? Will this favourably affect your bottom line? Do you think it’s a bold move or are the banks capitalising on something we shouldn’t be paying for anyway? Is either political party to be credited for this move?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    Star Trekker
    25th Sep 2017
    I didn't pay these fees as I never used another banks ATMs. Now, if they gave me a better interest rate on my savings that would be a better idea.
    25th Sep 2017
    Higher interest rates are coming sooner than anyone thinks. You only need to look at global bond movements to see that the next uplift by the Fed will set the hares racing. Keep your money liquid. It pays off in the long run.
    25th Sep 2017
    The joke about the banks listening to their customers , is indeed a gigantic joke.

    ON US.


    A very large department store EVERY one knows, charged my visa card set up for a cash advance $2.50 plus the same again for using the system. $5 DOLLARS, FINANCE COMPANY ??? OR BANK???
    The point is this is double or triple dipping, banks charge interest on you blinking sideways at a teller when you walk into the building.
    They gouge continually and of course the Commonwealth do money gathering in other ways too?
    Never should it have been allowed because there were charges every where any way.

    So this should never be seen as something nice being done from these banks , it should simply be that the consumer has been let off a cruel baited hook, that's all. Banks should be ashamed.
    Tom Tank
    25th Sep 2017
    This is only papering over the cracks. The banks are reeling from public distrust and the LNP are desperate to prevent a Royal Commission into their major donors.
    25th Sep 2017
    True Tom, this is the banks throwing crumbs to the crowd trying to deflect our attention from their multiple avaricious practices. They try to protect their big money grabbing by making a small sacrifice. Not that I am ever affected by this, I avoid using ATMs which will charge me a fee or I draw money out at a supermarket.
    25th Sep 2017
    PS. bring on a banking royal commission.
    25th Sep 2017
    I agree the big banks are in retreat mode as they realise the coalition is staring in the face of electoral defeat so will face a Royal Commission quickly after the next election. It's the same reason they are now selling off their financial planning interests including insurance. A pity they destroyed the industry by sidelining accountants who can no longer provide advice due to the ridiculous laws introduced as a consequence of the furious lobbying by the donor Banks who are now being brought to heel by the RBA, APRA and ASIC. The damage they have caused to the economy will last years, if not decades and their overpaid CEO's and Board members should be facing legal charges. They were bailed out by the Government in the GFC and completely acted as though they were in charge, when it's the Government who controls the currency and not these necktie bandits.

    We have seen how the so called free market has affected the ordinary Australian and none of it is good. The big Banks are just a part, albeit a big one of the whole problem with the economy.
    pedro the swift
    25th Sep 2017
    Wow, what a gift! One bank I use(not where I have my account) doesn't charge ATM fee on my card. Nor does where I shop for groceries, I can get cash out with no charge.
    So the banks have been ripping us off the tune of 500mill. a year for years.
    Now what about those non-bank ATMs in shops, clubs etc. are the still going to charge a fee?
    Its not only banks where Big bosses salaries are exorbitant. I would really like to know how one goes about spending that huge salary every year and what on. Surely there are only so many holidays one can take,luxury cars to buy, huge homes to buy.
    25th Sep 2017
    Those non-bank ATMs are private businesses which charge a fee for providing a service, ie ready cash, when one is unable or unwilling to go to a bank ATM. Since ATMs are like petrol stations, just about everywhere, it is poor personal management to run out of cash or fuel.
    25th Sep 2017
    I believe I am correct in saying these withdrawal fees were introduced in 2009. Maybe I am being cynical but bank customers have been complaining about this fee ever since, so why has it taken the banks so long to 'listen to their customers' and why now suddenly (and all at the same time) are they listening?

    It won't affect me personally since I have never paid these fees and bank fees in general are some of the easiest fees to avoid. Most who do pay them are really paying a lazy tax given there are many ways to get cash out without using a non-home bank ATM.
    25th Sep 2017
    Where we live we get charged every time because the town has never had one of our bank's ATM's.
    25th Sep 2017
    There's always Woolies cash out
    25th Sep 2017
    I use my banks ATMs exclusively, so no gain for me.. never ever use an ATM at a club or venue of any me cynical but I think the banks will find a way to claw back this lost revenue!.. yes better interest would be in my best interest.
    25th Sep 2017
    “Sire, the peasants are at the castle gates again.”
    “Take one small bag of half-farthings and scatter it over them” (hmm, time to start some new taxes on personal property) “then get back to polishing the yacht.”

    25th Sep 2017
    This is how the free market and competition works
    Without government interference

    Now we should let the energy sector loose , eliminate subsidies for renewables and other barriers to investment in coal . Onlybtjen wool we see lower energy prices

    Well done CBA
    25th Sep 2017
    Yes and mutual banks are great. No shareholders and no million dollar bonuses either.
    25th Sep 2017
    Yes and mutual banks are great. No shareholders and no million dollar bonuses either.
    25th Sep 2017
    If we removed all the subsidies to the coal mining industry and made sure they fully funded the reclaimation of the land they damage and for the pollution caused , then it would be a level playing field and show how costly coal really is .
    25th Sep 2017
    My Bank (NAB) sent me a letter substantially reducing interest on deposits just before announcing what good blokes they are by waiving ATM usage fees. In 1947 Ben Chifley wanted to privatise banks. The banks protested that competition would keep them honest. One retired banker, tongue in cheek, told me the banks didn't collude, they just had morning tea together once a month. Bring on a Royal Commission and a Federal ICAC.
    25th Sep 2017
    My bank sent me a letter last weeek reducing my investment loan interest rates
    25th Sep 2017
    Mutual banks the way to go,perhaps a industry fund for good measure Rae cuts out the fat.
    25th Sep 2017
    Facts are that ATM use is declining along with the use of cash in the economy. Supermarkets also dispense cash the checkout. Watch Morrison try to claim credit for this!
    ex PS
    26th Sep 2017
    Why does the average Australian even need a bank, all we need is a storage space to keep track of electronic funds? Cash is becoming redundant, why do we need buildings to store something that does not or will not exist in the future?
    Why doesn't the government set up an electronic fund repository where salaries are sent to that facility and can be Bpayed or EFT'd from there.
    If you want cash you can pay a whatever they will call a bank in the future a handling fee and get cash.
    Banks are only there to make some people money and for retailers to store cash, the average account earns very little and loses money in management fees.
    Maybe banks need to go the way of steam trains and coal.
    ex PS
    26th Sep 2017
    Anything to distract and keep us from demanding a Royal Commission, what are they trying to hide?
    26th Sep 2017
    Commission into what ?

    You lefties just love wasting taxpayer funds fighting windmills
    26th Sep 2017
    The Libs can't call a Royal Commission into the banks because Labor suggested it. Besides, they've already wasted $122M on a plebiscite when all the had to do was vote in parliament.
    26th Sep 2017
    Strummer - I hear your labor violins again . So boring
    ex PS
    27th Sep 2017
    Oh, I don't know, things like money laundering for terrorists, ripping people off with bogus insurance schemes, deliberately directing small investor's money into junk shares, silly little meaningless things like that.
    I suggest you take your head out from wherever you have it tucked and get a look at the real world Raphael.
    Your little Right Wing fantasy world is getting shaky and all your posturing and whining about the Left Wing Threat is starting to wear thin. People are starting to switch off old man, you are starting to sound a little paranoid.
    Move a little bit to the centre you'll feel better and people will start taking you a bit more seriously, I know you have it in you, just try it, you may even enjoy having rational thoughts.
    27th Sep 2017
    My take on banks; old boys brigade, cronies club, money launderers, loan sharks, inside traders, double dippers, ponzi/pyramid schemers, sharks, shonks, skimmers, usurers, advisers, consultants and downright dirty rotten mongrel bastards - with the exception of Ms Livingstone, Bligh et al. Thank heaven for little girls, they're sure to keep those dirty rotten males honest - honest.

    I recall recently reading in a book: 'The rule in banking circles has always been - "Don't ask, don't tell".' Regardless of what form any prospective inquiry takes or which institution will have oversight will be irrelevant - the questions that should be, will not asked and the spineless, immoralist bank wankers certainly won't tell. That's a gold plated bank guarantee, with interest.
    The hell with the cost, since when did the guvmint have any conscience about squandering taxpayer dollars, bring on a royal commission and let's see a few worms squirm.
    27th Sep 2017
    NAB dropped their iSaver deposit variable rate from 1.20% to 1.05% over the weekend. Guess that is to offset the loss in ATM fees. I wonder if the other banks did the same without any publicity. All media were just focused on the ATM withdrawal fee.

    Tags: banking, money, finance,

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