Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  03 Nov 2010

BANKING: Standard Bank and Absa SA’s Most Expensive Banks


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According to a report released by the Solidarity Movement (Solidarity, AfriForum and Helping Hand) today, Standard Bank and Absa are South Africa’s most expensive banks, while Capitec and FNB are the cheapest. Overall, Capitec has the cheapest transmission account, but if a client wants an overdraft facility, cheque book and credit card linked to the facility, FNB generally has the cheapest current account. Nedbank is the third cheapest bank. Of the ten cheapest accounts on a basic user profile, Absa is in tenth place, but Standard Bank did not make the top ten.

The report compared the bank charges of various personal bank accounts at the four commercial banks, namely Absa, FNB, Standard Bank and Nedbank, as well as those at Capitec, with each other. The bank charges of different combination of monthly transaction in 12 user profiles were calculated across different levels of expenditure. The investigation only focused on the core of transactional accounts in order to make comparisons as fair as possible. The focus was also exclusively on personal accounts, and commercial accounts were not included.

“We trust that this report will enable people to make more informed choices about banking. However, the aim of this report is not to make recommendations about which bank people should choose, but rather to empower them with information. People must make their own decisions based on their own user profiles. There is too much historical loyalty in banking, and this report will help people to make decisions based on cost and not based on loyalty,” said Flip Buys, general secretary of Solidarity.

If a person wants a transmission account, but without a linked credit card and overdraft facility, Capitec comes out on top in all the user profiles. FNB’s similar product, the Smart account, generally comes second in this category. If, however, a person wants to link a credit card, cheque book and overdraft facility to his account, FNB is generally the cheapest. When it comes to current accounts, FNB narrowly beats Nedbank. However, Absa and Standard Bank are not among the cheapest accounts in any of the twelve user profiles.

The results of Solidarity’s report on bank charges broadly agrees with Finweek’s latest analysis of bank charges. According to the Finweek report, FNB is currently the cheapest, followed by Nedbank, Absa and Standard Bank. Capitec was not included in the Finweek analysis. The Solidarity report also covers more user profiles.

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