Business pays more in bank fees

Big business paid much more in bank fees in 2010, according to separate analyses published yesterday by the Australian Bankers Association and the Reserve Bank of Australia.

The RBA notes that the banks’ fee income from businesses increased by 13 per cent in 2010, to $6.9 billion, even though the level of business credit outstanding has been falling over the year.

Over two years, bank fees paid by business increased by 25 per cent. This reflects the rush by bigger businesses to re-negotiate loans earlier and for longer terms (and often at wider interest margins) at a time of credit rationing by the banks following the financial crisis.

On the other hand, businesses are paying slightly less to manage their cash. Service fees paid to banks on transaction accounts fell for the second year in a row in 2010, and, at $711 million, are down 17 per cent over the period.

Source: Banking Day