BSP making banking cheaper

Business

ABOUT 300,000 holders of the redundant Bank South Pacific Kundu Saver accounts will be next in line to see fees reduced, according to Fleming.
This was part of an update he gave on the bank’s ongoing work to make banking less costly for customers.
He explained that BSP has also had discussions with the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) on the areas of fee reductions based on feedback received by the consumer watchdog.
The main feedback received by ICCC was online fees for housing loans and personal investment loans and those had been reviewed and reduced to zero charge recently.
“They have given some constructive advice to BSP as a form of guidance,” Fleming dais.
“They get feedback and as part of our review we had a look at what they were getting from consumers who are our customers. So these reductions were a combination of listening to customers and with discussions with ICCC which is a good voice for responses from various customers as well.
“Some of the fees initiatives in recent years have included waiving the issue fee for Visa debit cards, reducing the 50 toea minimum on Eftpos merchant transactions, reducing ATM and Eftpos fees on our Kundu Standard account and eliminating the cheque collection fee.
“As BSP prepares for the conversion of its banking system to Flexcube in the coming years, customers who have the old Kundu Saver account will be migrated to the lowest-fee account that suits their needs” either to the Kundu Package account or Kundu Standard account.
“The Kundu Package account has a K9.50 monthly fee, but which has unlimited fee-free transactions at a BSP branch, at a BSP ATM or when using BSP’s mobile banking for funds transfers.”
The Kundu Package account is best suited to very active customers who have many transaction a month and they pay what is essentially a flat fee per month.
“Our Kundu Standard has no monthly fee, with fees applied only when a customer does a transaction, which typically would be a branch withdrawal fee and ATM, Eftpos and mobile-banking fees,” Fleming said.
“The Kundu Standard account is more suited to more infrequent customers who pay no monthly fee and only get charged when they use the account.”
The redundant Kundu Saver account from the PNG Banking Corporation days is no longer offered by BSP. “This is an account that has a K3 per month fee irrespective of how infrequently the account is used,” Fleming said.
“This is also the account that draws the most criticism and complaints from customers for its K3 per month fee. By the end of this year, almost all of the 300,000 customers who have these accounts will have been migrated to the Kundu Package account or the Kundu Standard account. BSP will ensure that every customer benefits from this migration which should see savings of almost K13 million for our customers who had the old Kundu Saver accounts.”
He said BSP is also eliminating its dormant account fee, in which customers are charged when they have not used their account for over a year.
“In conjunction with removing the dormant account fee BSP will also stop charging a reactivation fee for customers who commence using their accounts after more than 12 months of inactivity.The fee benefit for customers is approximately K920,000 per annum.
“Another fee that is being removed is the over-the-counter deposit fee for deposits to a customer’s own account. Whenever a customer makes a deposit to their account with their card using an Eftpos device at the teller counter it will be fee free.
“This benefit to our customers will be approximately K3 million per annum.
“If someone deposits money to someone else’s account the transfer fee will be K3 in lieu of a deposit fee.
“Other fees being eliminated by BSP include the statement fee, which will be a benefit of K1.2 million per annum for our customers, the personal loan settlement fee at a benefit of K600,000 per annum, and also the line fee for housing loan customers and residential property investment loan customers, with the total benefit of K1.7 million per annum. Some other smaller fees are being reduced as well.
“No fees are being increased and there are no changes where a customer should be disadvantaged. BSP will continue to review its fees and its services to pass on any productivity benefits to our customers.”
Fleming said it was also worth remembering that BSP did not require customers to open an account with a minimum of K50 deposit as other banks required.
The bank also had a number of fee-free savings products.

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