bank teller 88.
(photo credit: )
The majority of bank customers are set to receive a "significant reduction" in fees next Thursday when new regulations come into effect that will force the banks to offer a package of services at a fixed rate and will prevent them from collecting line charges.
The final stage prior to the implementation of the regulations was completed on Wednesday, when the price controller at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor published a general permit allowing the banks to charge a fee of NIS 1.21 for basic current account transactions.
The Bank of Israel said the publication of the permit was necessary as it constitutes an "integral" part of the package-deal regulations. It allows the banks to levy the NIS 1.21 charge on cash withdrawals from automatic teller machines, the over-the-counter depositing of checks, debits for using credit cards, and direct debits.
Under the new regulations, which were formulated by bank supervisor Yoav Lehman and accepted by the Knesset Economic Committee, the banks will be obligated to offer a basket of basic activities for NIS 18 a month, although they will also be able to charge NIS 1.21 for each transaction not included in the package deal.
Customers have to make a request to use the NIS 18 framework, otherwise the banks will be able to charge NIS 1.21 per basic transaction and a minimum monthly fee of NIS 10 per account. The banks will also be able to offer different package deals, as well as reduced fees to pensioners, students and soldiers.
From next Thursday, it will also be easier and cheaper to transfer accounts from one bank to another, with the banks being allowed to charge a maximum of NIS 40 even if the total fees due for all the steps necessary to transfer an account exceed that amount.
In addition, customers who are considering changing banks will have the right to receive all the information relevant to making a decision, including the details of their assets and liabilities.
Bank Leumi and First International Bank of Israel (FIBI) reacted swiftly to the price regulator's publication of the general permit by unveiling their new rates. The banks will offer customers the two choices prescribed by the Bank of Israel, while FIBI will also offer an extra three package deals, priced at NIS 15, NIS 25 and NIS 55 a month.