Greens move to ban ATM fees

 

Bankers’ association aggrieved.

The Australian Greens party have announced plans to urge parliament to ban banks from charging Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) fees.

Banks including the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and Westpac typically charged non-customers a $2 fee for performing transactions on their machines.

Greens Leader Bob Brown called the fee a "regressive private tax", noting that ATM fees did not exist in the UK.

"The $2 ATM fee is not a fee-for-service and the charge does not reflect the real cost of processing an ATM transaction," he said in a statement.

"Major banks should be banned from charging non-customers $2 every time they want to access their own money."

The Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) labelled the proposal "short-sighted" and "anti-competitive", and said it would force the introduction of new fees for bank customers.

It could also mean that less ATMs would be deployed in remote parts of the country, the ABA claimed.

"ATM fees are not a tax as Senator Brown asserts," said ABA CEO David Bell.

"They pay for the installation, maintenance, repairs, and upgrading of ATMs, as well as security," he said. "If banks cannot recoup the costs associated with running their ATM fleets, then all these things might suffer."

Bell said that customers could use their own banks' ATMs to reduce or avoid fees, and urged Brown to consult with the Reserve Bank, police, banks, ATM deployers and bank customers on the proposal.

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