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Labor supports ATM fee disclosure inquiry.

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Labor Supports ATM Fee Disclosure Inquiry Stephen Conroy - Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Regulation

Media Statement - 2 May 2000

Senator Stephen Conroy, Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Regulation, has supported a Joint Parliamentary Inquiry into ATM Fee Disclosure by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Corporations and Securities.

"It is time that banks revealed just how much consumers are paying to use ATMs. We have long argued that fee disclosure is integral to a Social Charter of Community Obligations for Australia's banks," Senator Conroy said today.

"We will not let this inquiry be a whitewash. Without transparency of bank fees, customers are not able to make informed decisions about their banking.

"ATM fees are simply too high at the moment. We have a ridiculous situation where banks are charging up to $1.50 to withdraw cash from an ATM from another bank. There appears no rational explanation as to why banks charge their customers such exorbitant amounts when EFTPOS transactions cost a third of this amount.

"A recent survey by consumer magazine, Choice, has revealed that customers are more satisfied with smaller financial institutions than they are with the big banks.

"Yet customers also realise that if they leave the major banks they will be charged exorbitant amounts when they use one of the major banks' ATMs to withdraw cash.

"By charging these fees for use of their network of ATMs, banks are effectively limiting the power of non-banks to compete - effectively restricting competition in the financial services industry," Senator Conroy said.

Bank Fees - Basic Transaction Account

Bank ATM Fees at Foreign Bank EFTPOS

ANZ $1.25 $0.40

CBA $1.50 $0.40

NAB $1.25 $0.50

Westpac $1.25 $0.65

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.