Monday, February 26, 2007

The Story Behind the ATM Fee Platform

Every wonder what's up with this thing that Jack Layton is making a fuss about? They're ATM fees, it's not really a large bill to pay, isn't it? And don't we have free markets like most of the Western world? Can't the banks do whatever they want to?

There is now a little info centre (and petition) on the NDP website, which I'd suggest you check out first.   There is a lot of interesting information on that page, such as the record bank profits from 6 major banks. Also, I learned on this page that TD Bank does not charge its U.S. customers ATM fees, only us Canadians.

And it's not just Canada (or Jack L.) with these ant-ATM attitudes. The U.K. banned ATM fees 7 years ago. And while it seems like a petty thing for an MP to talk about, it is also a basic values issue. Why are we being charge to get our own money out. We pay them to look after our money, so shouldn't that be enough?

My next argument: it's still money. While those $1.50 or $3 bank charges may not exactly drive you to the poor-house, it does add up. For example, if you did not live near your bank, and you needed to withdraw, say, $60 every two weeks, with a $3 charge, that would cost you just about $80 per year, which could take you out to a restaurant a few times, or pay for a Greyhound bus fare, etc. etc. etc.   And anyway, the banks are not going poor. The billion dollar profits that they're making could do a lot for our society, such as fighting poverty. But instead, that money is going to CEOs, and paying for gold platted windows on RBC towers in Toronto.

Finally, if you want to check out a more personal story on bank fees, read Sean in Saskatchewan's ATM fees ... to be questioned by Commons committee.


SammySam said...

I completely agree. It is not fair for those big large companies to charge us for our own money.

What ever happened to the days when you kept your money under your mattress.

Anonymous said...

Totally. It is not fair that we are charged these fees by these rich companies. We need a change in Ottawa. The Libs and Tories stand up for Bay Street too much.