stanley fischer 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Household customers are getting discounts for service charges on their checking
accounts as competition between banks over prices intensifies, the Bank of
Israel said in a report Monday.
“There is more awareness among customers
regarding bank-fee charges that are boosting competition among the banks for
winning current and new household customers,” the biannual report on household
bank fees said.
“The banks are offering existing and new customers a full
or partial exemption from fees in various marketing campaigns, while
population groups such as students and soldiers are granted discounts
As a result, there is a difference between the regular fee tariff
the actual fee charged.”
Households paid an average of NIS 15.6 in
monthly fees for checking account transactions including credit
frameworks in the
first quarter of 2010, compared with an average of NIS 16.3 one and a
ago, a decrease of 8.5 percent in nominal terms, the report said. At the
largest banks, which serve 80% of household banking customers, average
fees on checking accounts including credit frameworks were NIS 15.
survey examined the five largest banks’ household common banking fees
first quarter of 2010. Bank Hapoalim was the cheapest, with average
of NIS 14.7 on checking accounts including credit-card frameworks. First
International Bank of Israel was the most expensive, with average
of NIS 21.9, the report said.
The average monthly charge on
checking-account fees at Bank Leumi and Israel Discount Bank was NIS 15
17.5 at Bank Mizrahi Tefahot.
Bank Yahav was the cheapest bank by far for
average monthly checkingaccount fees, at NIS 2.8.
fees charged by Visa Cal, which is issued by Israel Discount Bank and
the most expensive among the local card issuers and international card
The cheapest credit-card fees, whether for local, international
or Gold cards, were charged by Isracard, which is issued by Bank
“Since the beginning of January 2009, average credit-card fees
have dropped by 11% in real terms,” the report said.
The average monthly
maintenance fees for Isracard, which has 40% of the market, were NIS
for Leumi Card, which has 29% of the market, were NIS 8.7. Fees for Visa
which has 31% of the market, were NIS 10.6.
The Bank of Israel is calling
upon bank customers to use its Web site for information to compare bank
negotiate a reduction in fees for checking- account transactions or to
choice about the most suitable bank.
Bank customers were getting an
average discount of 46% for teller-based services and an average
discount of 23%
on direct-banking services on the advertised tariffs as competition
banks over prices intensified, the report said.
Since the bank-fee reform
was implemented in July 2008, the Israel Consumer Council, backed by a
cabinet ministers, has been trying to cancel basic fees on checking
the grounds that the central bank’s measures support the interests of
at the cost of the consumer.
In February, a Knesset private members’ bill
to cancel bank fees on checking accounts was unanimously rejected by the
Ministerial Committee on Legislation. The bill proposes the cancellation
bank fees, including those for cash withdrawals, printing transaction
making deposits or transfers between accounts, self-service deposits,
bills and standing orders.
The central bank argued that the cancellation
of bank fees for basic services on checking accounts would lead to an
in the interest rate on credit.