Commonwealth Bank has removed fees for all bank customers that use its automated teller machines (ATMs). This means that members of ANZ, NAB, Westpac-St.George and other banks will no longer be slugged with a $2 cash-withdrawal fee for using CommBank ATMs. Hurrah!
ATM fees have been a bone of contention with consumers ever since the 2009 ATM Fee Reforms, which forced banks to provide on-screen disclosures of any additional charges being applied. Customers became aware that they were being charged between $2 and $5 every time they used another banking institution's ATM.
These fees have helped to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in profits for the 'Big Four' banks, with more than 250 million "foreign" withdrawals recorded last year alone at a minimum of $2 a pop. That's a lot of money to wring from customers who are simply trying to access their finances.
Now, Commonwealth Bank - which is clearly in need of some good publicity - has decided to nix the practice for good.
From today, no customers will receive an ATM withdrawal fee when using a CommBank teller, no matter who they happen to bank with (excluding overseas cards and CBA-owned Bankwest ATMs.) Here's the announcement on the Commonwealth Bank website:
CommBank have 3,400 branded ATMs, the largest bank network in Australia.
And from now on, our branded ATMs will no longer charge ATM withdrawal fees.
It’s a little thing, but we hope you’ll agree, it’s a welcome change.
This is obviously good news for other bank members, but it doesn't do much for CommBank customers. In fact, it will actually make their lives worse. By waiving withdrawal fees, CommBank ATMs are sure to receive a huge surge in popularity.
In other words, you can expect the queue at CommBank ATMs to be a lot longer moving forward. Hopefully, other banks won't be long in following the Commonwealth Bank's lead.
This week, Australia's four major banks were forced to explain why they are raking in billions of dollars in profit at the expense of consumers to a parliament hearing. They were also grilled about a string of banking scandals in recent years. Here's a summary of what the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Bank, NAB and Westpac had to say for themselves.