Johannesburg - Absa has emerged as the country's most expensive bank, according to Fin24.com's sister publication, Finweek, which published its fourth annual 2008 Finweek Bank Charges Report on Friday.
Absa, South Africa's biggest retail banker, also saw the biggest year-on-year increase in fees, Finweek said in its report. It is not alone, however.
Bank charges rose, in some cases by more than 20%, despite the growing threat of regulatory intervention and a public commitment by the banking sector to tackle charges and keep increases to a minimum, Finweek said.
There are literally hundreds of permutations and no single, accessible, accurate comparison mechanism for a like-for-like comparison of fees, Finweek said. Nonetheless, the report reinforced the findings of three previous studies by the magazine and supported several key conclusions of the Competition Commission-sponsored Jali report.
According to research commissioned by Finweek and carried out by chartered accountants at Horwath Forensics, Absa is the country's most expensive bank for customers who use its fixed price package options as well as for those who pay for each individual interaction with the bank on the Pay-As-You-Use (PAYU) basis.
But the accolade for the biggest price increases over four years goes to Standard Bank.
Since 2005 the monthly cost of Standard Bank's package option has risen an astronomical 60% from being the cheapest at R198.40 in the 2005 report. It would now cost a fictional Finweek family R317.05 a month to transact using Standard Bank's package options.
Important fee growth statistics in South Africa's other banks such as Nedbank and FNB are also investigated by Finweek.
The magazine also investigates service levels within particular bank branches with some eye-opening results.
If you would like to get a full version of the story in print, subscribe to Finweek magazine.
For a full copy of the bank charges report, click here.
The news YOU choose.
Visit Laaik.it and add and rank the news you want. You get to be an editor.