Greens have workable solution to unfair bank fees
11 March 2013
Greens have workable solution to
unfair bank fees
The Green Party supports a class action against unfair bank fees and today offered ready legislation to ensure future bank fees are fair and transparent.
The legislation, in the form of a Member’s Bill, will ensure that banks offer a basic fee-free banking service, that bank fees are fair and reflect the actual costs involved, and make the Reserve Bank responsible for the oversight of bank fee charges.
“I strongly support the class action announced today to recoup excessive bank default fees,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
“Excessive bank fees have become a lucrative way for our foreign-owned banks to make money and the fact that they remain so high is another indication of the lack of competition in our banking sector.
“On average, New Zealanders are paying at least $200 a year on bank fees. The exact amount is unknown, however. Unlike Australia, our Reserve Bank does not have oversight of this aspect of banking activity or report regularly on bank fees.
“I have drafted legislation that will ensure banks offer a basic fee-free banking service, require real time warnings of impending bank fees, and require the Reserve Bank to ensure all bank fees are fair and reflect the actual costs of services provided.”
A basic fee-free service proposed by the Green Party must include basic transaction services, internet access to the account, and an EFTPOS/debit card. The account must be free of on-going service fees such as monthly account service fees and penalty fees for actions and transgressions of third parties.
The legislation also requires banks to disclose all relevant cost information to the Reserve Bank to allow it to determine the fairness of any bank fee charged. Banks would have to offer real-time warnings of fees before a proposed internet, electronic, or face-to-face transaction is finalised. This will give customers the opportunity to discontinue.
Link to the