FNB calls for elimination of Saswitch fees
Banking customers could save up to R500million a year if First National Bank's proposal to eliminate fees charged when using another bank's ATM is adopted.
"This would enable the industry to broaden national access to banking services and achieve more efficient utilisation of the ATM infrastructure," said FNB chief executive Michael Jordaan.
He was speaking at the Competition Commission's banking enquiry public hearings in Pretoria yesterday.
According to a copy of his testimony, should the network be opened up, "it would save customers more than R500million yearly in Saswitch fees".
FNB approached the commission to help in the discussion between the banks because, under current competition law, banks may not discuss consumer pricing issues with each other with the view to fix, reduce or eliminate such pricing.
"This inquiry, which examines all aspects of competition in banking, is an open process that presents an opportunity to table this type of proposal," said Sizwe Nxasana, chief executive of FNB parent FirstRand.
Saks Ntombela, Nedbank's managing director of transactional and investment products said: "Nedbank endorses the view that alternatives to the current Saswitch interchange and consumer fee structures could assist in improved access at affordable levels for consumers."
The commission said it would release a final report in July next year to determine whether a formal investigation into banking charges was necessary. - With Sapa and I-Net Bridge