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Costello must rule out higher rural ATM fees.



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Media Release by…

ALAN GRIFFIN MP Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs

2 June 2004

COSTELLO MUST RULE OUT HIGHER RURAL ATM FEES

In Question Time today I asked the Treasurer about proposed reforms that would allow rural and regional Australians to be charged more to use another banks’ ATMs.

In response, the Treasurer said:

“I don’t know what the Member is referring to… well he can prove me wrong”

These proposed reforms I referred to are part of an industry working group proposal supported by the Reserve Bank and were the subject of a Parliamentary Committee report earlier this year.

Coalition committee members signed off on these reforms which would allow banks to charge people in rural and regional areas a higher rate for using another banks’ ATM.

These proposed changes to the foreign ATM fee structure should ring alarm bells across rural and regional Australia.

International experience has shown that when differential fees have been allowed people in rural and regional areas were hit with massive price hikes. Some experts believe that the cost of using a foreign ATM in rural Australia could

rise to $5, or higher, per transaction.

Foreign ATM fees have already risen 262% since 1995.

I challenge the Treasurer to rule out allowing differential ATM fees that will punish rural Australians.

For further information please contact: Alan Griffin: 0419 353 476