Text size

The Supervisor of Banks, Yoav Lehman, intends to cancel 10 bank fees that affect individual customers and place 50 others "under observation," which effectively will prevent banks from raising them without authorization.

The recommendations of a committee headed by Mordechai Fein, the deputy bank regulator, will be published in two weeks after it is fully approved by Lehman.

One of the fees that will be canceled is the "line charge," a NIS 1.21-1.28 payment for each line on a customer's bank statement.

In addition, one of two charges - either a management fee or membership fee charged by the credit cards - will be canceled.

The Fein Committee will also prevent the banks from charging a "document preparation" and "case opening" fee - methods that enable the bank to charge customers for the administrative process of taking or renewing loans. Now the banks will be able to include these fees within their interest payment calculations but they will have to be available to the client for comparison purposes with other banks.

According to the committee's report, the banks will have to offer customers a "basic account," which will include a limited number of banking services for NIS 12-14 per month.

The report also includes cancelation of a "deferred payment fee" that credit cards charge, which will lead to approximately NIS 30 million in annual losses. The credit cards currently employ two "deferred payment fee" plans. The first involves the granting of credit and subsequent interest charges for a purchase made in installments, while the second divides the purchase into installments - the major source of income for the credit cards. According to both methods, the cards charge 43 agorot per month per deferred payment. The credit cards were ordered to stop the first practice as of yesterday, and soon will be asked to desist from the second practice.

To minimize damage to the banks, the supervisor will allow them to charge for two activities that have been free till now: drawing cash at automatic teller machines and depositing checks at a branch.