Friday, January 26, 2007

Layton and Bank Fees

I've thought about this issue since it first came out and I thought I would throw my two cents into the pit as well. I orginally though Jack Layton's argument was about bank fees at your own bank, I've now learned that his beef is with ATM fees for withdrawing money from other banks.

I bank with one of the major banks, but as a student, I thankfully don't pay any bank fees for service and usage. However, if I wish to take money out of bank that is not my own, I, of course, like everyone else will get that 2 or 3$ fee. And I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

I often watch that Canadian show on Life network (I believe) Til Debt do Us Part The first thing she often highlights is how much people are wasting on the bank fees of withdrawing money from other banks. Does this mean that the government should make a law that a bank? I would argue No. You have chosen a company to bank with, you have your money at one bank/comparny. If you take money out of another bank, you pay for that convenience.

You can only withdraw at other branches, not deposit. I'm not trying to use a slippery slope argument--because frankly, I doubt this legislation will go through--however, is the next 'want' going to be that we can deposit at other branches?

In addition, why is no one screaming debit? The only time I'm at the ATM is actually to deposit. I use debit for everything. It's good not only to keep track of where my money's going without having to keep all my receipts and write it down. Then again, I get unlimited debit transactions for free. I understand that not everyone has this option.

There are so many banks out there that this shouldn't be an issue. If you're in a big city you can choose to have a branch that is close to work or close to home. But if Johnny has all of his money with Bank A but always withdraws from Bank B, then why the hell does he have money with bank A.

You know what I think the government should do about a 'money' issue? Make a law so that stores cannot put up their little signs that say they will not accept anything more than $20 or $50 bills. It's legal tender, you, as a store must accept it!

Since the story broke, I've been trying to think of an analogy to which to compare, but have come up empty handed. Regardless, although many fellow Blogging Tories support Layton's proposal, I actually am against it. I haven't had a chance to look at the 315 comments so far on the G&M article on the issue. Often when comments go past 100 on an article, it seems to be an issue that many Canadians wish to discuss and debate.


Blogger William E. Demers said...

Whoever owns the ATM should be allowed to do whatever they want. If you don't like it, don't use their ATM.

Fri Jan 26, 10:53:00 AM EST  
Blogger Matt said...

Like you, I'm very much against this idea. And it's not because I'm rich - oh, no. I'm a recent graduate with a $30,000 student debt.

Fri Jan 26, 11:58:00 AM EST  
Blogger doug said...

The ATMs were designed as a means of eliminating workers from the banks.

Oh sure they are 'convenient' for the customers but the bottom line for the banks is that every transaction processed by an ATM is a transaction they don't have to have SOMEONE do.

They are already receiving a 'benefit' from the machines, and to charge an additional fee for their use is double dipping. And let's be honest here folks, there really is not a real competitive market in banking nor really in much else in this age of massive corporate enterprise.

The banks should make these electronic transactions as close to 'free' as possible, and Layton has a winning issue here.

No-one LIKES Banks.


Fri Jan 26, 12:48:00 PM EST  
Blogger eugene plawiuk said...

The big five banks in Canada own the ATM and its networks, Interac etc.
They also own the credit cards. When you use an ATM you are charged twice, by the bank which you withdraw through, and then your own bank. Even with credit unions and other alternatives, there are service charges, a monthly fee you pay to use the bank, though of course they are using your money daily, and then your chequining and ATM withdrawl charges on top of that.
It is a monopoly and as I have blogged about, it is one that needs to be be busted for the good of all our pocketbooks.
The banks like ING that do not charge ATM fees do so because they are virtual banks, online. However even with them if you withdraw from an ATM you are charged.
And as the previous post stated ATM's were introduced by the banks to eliminate staff and branches.

Fri Jan 26, 01:48:00 PM EST  

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