29 July 2009
National Australia Bank today announced that from October 1 this year it would abolish the fees known by customers as overdrawn account fees on all NAB personal transaction and savings accounts.
These fees currently impact on around 700,000 NAB personal transaction or savings account customers a year.
These fees also generate the most customer complaints to the bank of any bank fee and result in more customer complaints to the bank than any other matter.
Overdrawn account fees are charged when a customer’s personal transaction or savings account is overdrawn. For some Australian banks these fees can be as high as $40 to $50 for every time a customer overdraws their personal transaction or savings account.
NAB cut these fees on personal transaction and savings accounts from $50 to $30 last year and from October 1, 2009 they will be abolished altogether.
NAB Personal Banking Group Executive, Lisa Gray said: "Most of our customers are using their everyday personal transaction accounts to pay bills electronically. They are managing multiple direct debits and automatic bill payments.
"Everyday we hear their stories – a customer’s pay goes in a day late, gym fees or an insurance premium comes out early – the bank either pays the overdrawn amount or not – but either way an overdrawn account fee is generated. Most of our customers who experience these fees don’t think it is fair.
"It is important for NAB that we improve our relationship with our customers by providing them with help, guidance and advice. Getting rid of these fees will certainly help. That is why we are making this decision.
"This decision is also important to NAB people because dealing with these fees and the customer complaints can be de-motivating and time consuming. Getting rid of them will mean our people have more time to spend with customers on the things that really matter.
"This is a good decision for our business because it is the right thing for our customers.
"The benefit to NAB is that we want to be even more competitive – we want our customers to have a stronger relationship with us and we want to say to customers of other banks take a look at NAB.
"This is a final decision. There are no disclaimers, no reversing the decision and importantly no recouping of these fees somewhere else."
In a speech delivered in March this year National Australia Bank Group CEO Cameron Clyne said that in coming years NAB would be working harder to improve its relationships with its customers and the community.
Mr Clyne identified bank fees, transparency on interest rates and improving access to financial services for the disadvantaged as three key areas the bank would look to improve its performance, reputation and the way it was viewed in the community.
Media contacts: Luisa Ford, NAB Corporate Affairs – M: 0411 024 104 George Wright, NAB Corporate Affairs – M: 0419 556 616