Bank penalty fees are unfair

Australian households were bearing the brunt of unfair penalty fees, paying $961 million or nearly 83 per cent of these fees, Nicole Rich, Director – Policy & Campaigns at Consumer Action, said yesterday.

"We have always thought that Australian banks were generating hundreds of millions of dollars in unfair penalty fees each year but the banks refused to disclose the information," Ms Rich said.

"These figures finally tell the Australian community what the banks are charging in penalty fees and unfortunately things are even worse than we feared. Households paid $961 million in penalty fees in the 2008 financial year and most of those were on ordinary deposit accounts and credit cards. 20 per cent of all fees the banks charged households in 2008 were penalty fees."

Source: Consumer Action Law Centre