A researcher has forecast that Australian banks will collect more than $5 billion in fees in the year ahead as they aim to survive the global economic crisis.
Fujistu Consulting reported in its annual bank fee benchmark report, that Australian household on average pay 22 per cent more in bank fees than British households, and 11 per cent more than those in the U.S.
The survey found that on average Australians pay close to $1000 in fees each year, compared to $749 in the UK and $850 in the U.S. A recent report established that Australian banks collected just under $5 billion in fee income in 2008, ranking them among the most expensive in the western world.
The report further concluded that$5.25 billion of fees would be taken from households in the coming year. Due to the global financial services crisis, banks will be attempting to maintain profit levels by lifting fees.
Lower levels of competition in Australian banking industry than in the US and UK were partly to blame for discrepancy in fees. With improved efficiency cost savings of 20 and 40 per cent could be achieved.
The report also found that due to the wide range of fees and charges levied in Australia the average household is paying up to $200 more each year than they should and that consumers were not perturbed when it came to bank fees.