RBA warns banks, co-operate over card fees

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) may use its legal powers to force the banks to lower interchange fees – the fees banks charge each other for card transactions that are then passed on to customers. RBA governor Mr Ian Macfarlane has warned the banks that the RBA supports the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's push to reform interchange fees and that change was inevitable. Mr Macfarlane added that the banks should co-operate with the ACCC or face the possibility of the RBA using its statutory authority to set interchange fee standards. Meanwhile, The ACCC has welcomed Westpac's move to change the way foreign ATM fees are set. ACCC chairman Professor Alan Fels said that whilst it supported Westpac's call for change, it would have to examine the bank's proposal in detail before endorsing it.

‘Banks on notice over card fees', The Australian Financial Review, 04/12/00, p 17.

To find out how banks' interchange fees affect your credit card bill, read our article ‘Card Fees – Are we being ripped off?'