A global comparison of bank charges confirmed what many South Africans have long suspected - the country has the world's most expensive current accounts.
At R1862 a year, South African "active" current account holders pay more than double the global average of R732, The World Retail Banking Report 2007 compiled by international business consultants Capgemini and its research partners, ING and the European Financial Management & Marketing Association, found.
The report came out yesterday while the Jali Commission into competition in the banking industry heard Standard Bank explain that the penalties the big four banks impose on account holders with insufficient funds were to "teach clients manners".
Gemini Consulting chief executive Stephen Asbury commented: "Timing is ideal from a South African pers-pective. The report provides a baseline for some telling comparisons with other markets worldwide."