FNB sent us this response to Jean Corson's letter this week on how his son was hit with a R20 bank fee on a R20 withdrawal:
FNB's Life Start Account was desig-ned to offer students the most convenient banking services at the lowest cost.
The Life Start monthly account fee is R13.50, which in-cludes an unlimited number of electronic transactions via any of FNB's electronic channels. Cash withdrawals can be done at no additional cost to Life Start account holders at FNB ATMs, mini ATMs in select retail stores and at point of sale using a Visa Electron debit card.
A R20 fee is char-ged for Life Start account withdrawals at ATMs operated by other banks, irrespective of the value of the transaction. The Saswitch withdrawal fee is necessary to recoup the carriage fee that FNB pays to another bank when an FNB card holder uses a non-FNB ATM.
FNB has put a proposal before the Competition Commision that the banking in-dustry should eliminate Saswitch fees - a move that would save customers about R500million a year. For this to happen, all banks must agree to drop the fee. It would be commercially naive for one bank to do it alone.
The second example in the article refers to a Future Forward account, and similarly these customers are offered cheaper alternatives for withdrawing cash.