From April one third of customers having a current account or savings account with HSBC bank are expected to incur a fee of € 5 per month if they do not deposit a minimum of € 2,300 or in the case of older people over 61, a minimum of € 1,250 every quarter.
In comments to Television Malta, Crawford Prentice, a senior official of HSBC Bank Malta, said that most customers will not be affected by this new measure. Asked about low-income customers, Mr Prentice said this fee will not apply to people with a minimum wage or pension as well as people receiving social and student benefits.
“We deliberately set the threshold for pension income at the minimum state pension amount which adds up to that € 1,250 every three months, but also that extends beyond that elderly population, so if we have customers who are receiving state benefits of any kind, so for example if that was unemployment benefits or sickness benefits or disability benefit, again if the funds are received, if they are received directly in their HSBC account, they will also be exempt from the fee. ”
Mr Prentice said the main reason for introducing the € 5 fee was to cover part of the bank’s costs of offering the bank account service.
In response to these new tariffs, the Consumers’ Association criticized HSBC’s decision to charge a fee to its customers for failure to deposit certain amounts of money, saying it was one of a series of actions intended to start charging consumers a fee for bank services
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L-Għaqda tal-Konsumaturi tikkritika miżata li jridu jħallsu klijenti tal-HSBC