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Bank concession on fees is consumer victory



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FEDERAL MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFATR,S AND MINISTER ASSISTING THE TREAStJBER FOR PRICES SENATOR NICK BOLKUS

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BANK CONCESSION ON FEES IS CONSUMER VICTORY

The Minister for Consumer Affairs, Senator Nick Bolkus, today welcomed the Commonwealth Bank's announcement that it was extending exemptions from its savings account fees.

Senator Bolkus, who met with the Commonwealth's Chief General Manager, Retail, Mr Len Spencer, last week, said that the decision is a significant victory for the Bank's customers.

"I put strongly to Mr Spencer the need to exempt more social security beneficiaries than originally announced and I am pleased they have responded positively to that," said Senator Bolkus.

"While I acknowledge the highly competitive nature of Australian banking, I believe that banks do have some basic responsibilities to the less well off in •the community.

"The Commonwealth has accepted this and the new range of exemptions now means the Bank covers all cases justifying special assistance."

Senator Bolkus said that consumers, trade unions and other community groups had backed the call for further exemptions.

"This is a significant victory for all of those who argued for the Commonwealth to soften its policy," said Senator Bolkus:

"Most social security beneficiaries rely on regular access to their bank accounts and a fee of $1.50 would in many cases present a financial burden."

Friday, February 24, 1989 Sydney.

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