The major Aussie bank hitting you with 'sneaky' charge
CUSTOMERS wanting a copy of their own bank statements are being slugged an exorbitant $7.50 charge.
Hundreds of thousands of customers at one of the nation's biggest banks, Westpac, are being automatically transitioned to receive electronic statements in a massive cost-cutting move despite the bank posting an $8 billion net profit last year.
But for those walking into a bank branch and asking for hard or an additional copy of their statement they have already received via email or mail - can be stung $7.50.
Customers who opt to receive paper statements will continue to receive them free of charge.
Pro-paper lobby group Keep Me Posted's executive director Kellie Northwood said the excessive charge was an unfair hit to customers' hip pockets.
"Westpac's disregard for customer choice is sadly, not surprising among some of the most profitable companies across Australia," she said.
Westpac has been moving customers for more than a year over to e-statements and is contacting customers via post and email of the change.
Westpac customers who already receive paper statements and have online banking login will be automatically moved to receive e-statements unless they "opt out" to do so.
When contacted by News Corp about the charge to have a print out done in branch, Westpac confirmed the $7.50 was fee was under review.
"Westpac is reviewing its printing fee for duplicate statements and we are planning to substantially reduce it this year,'' she said.
"The fee has always been discretionary."
One disgruntled Westpac customer who did not wish to be named told News Corp that he has opted to receive paper statements but every month he gets the same email from the bank switching him back to e-statements.
"I have to log in and change it back," he said.
For Westpac customers who do not have an online login they will continue to receive paper statements for free.
The Westpac spokeswoman said moving customers to e-statements was to help reduce printing and paper waste and lower the risk of identity theft.
In 2017 the Commonwealth Bank introduced a fee charging $2.50 - or up to $25 per year - for additional statements on top of the two free paper statements they can receive annually.
CBA said only two per cent of customers would be impacted by the fees.
Treasury is currently reviewing paper billing fees and the draft of the new code of banking practice states that paper fees will be waived for customers who don't have access to the internet.
CBA charge customers $2.50 for duplicate bank statements to be printed in branch however, pensioners and youth are exempt from the fee.
NAB customers are slugged $4 for having additional statements printed in branch but a spokeswoman said "these fees are often waived by branch staff."
An ANZ spokesman said customers are not charged a fee to have their statement printed at a branch.