This Is What Australians Are Really Paying In Fees To The Big Four Banks

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The fees Australia’s big four banks charge for late and penalty fees vary wildly between institution from a low of $5 to more than $20.

And the average in fees gathered in a month by one bank can be three times that charged by another.

An analysis of bank fees charged to more than 50,000 users of Pocketbook, a free online service which manages bank accounts, loans and credit cards, shows how differently each of the financial institution applies fees.

“It’s quite surprising to see that broad a range,” says Bosco Tan, the founder of Pocketbook.

“We provide notifications to our users whenever we detect a bank fee. A number of our users have had their fees waived as a result.”

This week the Federal Court ruled that penalty fees charged by the ANZ were excessive.

Here’s what Pocketbook discovered when it looked at the fees paid by its customers to the big four banks in aggregate for January 2014:

“When you look at it in totality across the four banks, the ANZ is markedly charging people more,” Tan says.

Of the total fees in January, 13% charged by the ANZ were penalty fees compared to just 4% by the NAB.

The average penalty fee charged by the ANZ was $12.76 compared to the NAB at $5.52.

With late fees the ANZ was $20.80, the Commonwealth $19.99 and the NAB just $5. Westpac’s fee was hard to identify because it didn’t use the term ‘late’.

The average fees charged also put ANZ at the top with $23.29. This was way above the month’s fees by Commonwealth ($7.75), Westpac ($9.86) and the NAB ($7.32)

Tan says the average Australian pays around 90 cents a day in bank fees and about 50 cents of that was for to maintain their accounts.

Average fees paid by Pocketbook users in January:

  • Account Maintenance – $21
  • Interest & Cash Advance – $28
  • Transaction & Merchant fees (excluding overseas transaction, FX conversion fees) – $7
  • ATM & withdraw fees – $3
  • Penalty fees – $11

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