Banks in Greece will impose a monthly fee of €0.50 for each deposit / checking account held by natural persons. Ordinary savers are exempt.
The set monthly cost of €0.50 will only apply to deposit / checking accounts that can make payments, transfer funds, have debit and/or credit cards, and so on.
Ordinary savings accounts, on the other hand, will not be charged a fee, but they will be unable to make payments or withdraw funds using debit cards.
With no further interest rate increases expected and, as a result, a rise in margin income, Greek banks are looking for ways to increase fee income while also lowering operating costs by maintaining forgotten or double and triple accounts with no balance or activity.
It should be noted that monthly charges were solely applicable to business accounts.
With this approach, the banks estimate that:
- they will increase revenue from commissions, which currently total roughly €1.5 billion per year and account for a modest portion of total operational profits;
- they will lower the operational costs of dormant, null, and inactive accounts.
Today, it is believed that there are 65 million deposit accounts in Greek banks, the majority of which are double or triple (a depositor has many accounts), with over 73% having a balance of up to €5,000.
In other words, they predict that many beneficiaries of zero and forgotten accounts will be forced to close them or combine their funds in a new deposit product with a better interest rate and more services.
Banks also aim to market the so-called subscription packages, which were offered today by all major banks.
This is a pre-purchase of packages ranging from 2 to 10 euros per month or 25 euros per year, which contain a set number of free transactions (transports, remittances, standing orders, withdrawals, card subscriptions, etc.).
It is stated that the availability of these packages is optional, but for those who conduct a large number of transactions, it can be a useful solution.
Other difficulties include:
- continued promotion of the IRIS interbank transaction system, which provides free and rapid payments of up to 500 euros per day;
- revising and simplifying the price list of charges to better meet the needs of the new digital age.
That example, certain fees may fall or eliminate, while others may rise.
It is worth mentioning that the monthly cost comes after the Greek Competition Commission fined banks and compelled them to reduce their prices for cash withdrawals from competing banks’ ATMs.