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Greeks pay €100m/month to banks as “commission and fees” for services

Greeks pay more than 100 million euros per month to the banks in form of fees and commissions the lenders institutes charge for all possible kinds of services.

According to published data of the four systemic banks (National, Piraeus, Eurobank and Alpha Bank) in the first half of the year, they totally charged their customers with commissions of approximately € 700 million.
“In fact, according to these figures, the banks have made increases in these charges that in some cases reach even 10%,” notes state news agency amna.
It adds that bank revenues from the commissions increased by 5%.
PS In an effort to put pressure on Greek banks to withdraw the planned increases for services that were free in the past, the government has apparently decided to start a “war” against the banks by leaking the above mentioned information….

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  1. In the Netherlands and Scandinavia the operation of ATM’s is outsourced by all the banks together to one new organisation. It goes without saying that you can take cash from these machines as often as you feel like. You don’t have to look for a machine from your own bank. All that for the roughly €40 per year you pay for your bank account and Maestro-debit card. And internet-banking is included, as much as you like. Already payments of 1 cent are for free (and used as authentication method by webshops).

    For shopkeepers it is cheaper to receive payments through a POS instead of as cash. Consequently, cash payments are disappearing. Depositing cash costs money if you do it more often than 6 times per year, to further discourage the use of cash. There are hardly any reasons to visit a physical bank left because there are also ATM’s in other shops where you can deposit money to your bank account.

    Physical banks have disappeared rapidly because the disappearing need for them. A further cost reduction for the banks and for us as consumers.

    • When I was a student in the UK, bank accounts were free unless you ran an overdraft. Debit cards were free — and I was one of the few students to have them in 1976. Credit cards were free. Yet, the banks managed to make good profits and not go bankrupt. The banking disease started with Thatcher and Reagan, their deregulation of banking and continues to this day.

      Now in the UK, online banking facilities frequently go down (sometimes for days) and people with only one or two cards cannot buy food, travel or do anything without cash. Poor people have only one card, and they are the ones hit by outages. Middle class people have many (I have 3 debit cards and 2 credit cards, with 3 banks in different countries). For the poor, cash is essential.

      So, what do the banks do? They try to close down most of their ATMs — to save money. They impose high charges for depositing and even giving out cash to shops and businesses. They harass their customers who complain about lack of facilities along with high bank charges.

      So, I recognise your account of what is happening – -as a middle class perspective. For the poorer members of society — in the UK, perhaps 30% — what you have written is not applicable. Increasingly, polticians and banks are creating poverty, punishing the poor, and then trying to blame others (such as the European Union) for the disaster. Banks need to be kept under control, their legal duties to poorer customers defined, and their disgusting manipulations of investments, hedge funds, and complex financial instruments outlawed. Moreover, cash is essential and anyone who thinks otherwise is living in a dreamworld.

      At this time, I cannot see our right wing and far right European governments doing anything to control the banks and protect poorer people. Far from it, many politicians either worked as bankers or even currently own banks. It is a terrible situation.

      • What? “online banking facilities frequently go down (sometimes for days)”? That is unheard of. Banks can’t afford to do that! I have experienced scheduled maintenance, usually from 1:30AM to 7:30AM. I vaguely remember a big outage of a whole day. It was big news, about a year ago.

        From the 150 elected parliament members and the 15 ministers the past years I only know of one minister who was appointed to temporarily run the ING bank (because the state rescued it during the crisis). Actually, I will interview him in a weeks at his home in a few weeks. He does not seem very corrupt to me.

        Actually, for many poor people a good and efficient banking system is more importang than cash. State benefits automatically go to their housing for example, preventing evictions.

        Poor people have another problem, lack of income and security. The banking system is the least of their worries. At least in this country. About the UK I don’t know. Actually, the UK is a bit of a mystery to many nowadays.

        I wrote the above because I see many opportunities for Greek banks to improve.