PM calls on banks to cancel fee hikes

PM calls on banks to cancel fee hikes

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called on the country's banks to recall a series of increases in the fees paid by customers for various transactions during a meeting with their representatives on Thursday.

“You have announced price hikes. We cannot accept that, it is very negative. These hikes cannot be justified, particularly in an improved economic environment. We must remain in the previous framework,” he told representatives of the Hellenic Bank Association, according to a press release by the prime minister's office.

Bankers explained that the hikes aim at increasing electronic transactions in which banks “have invested heavily,” but pledged to review the prices, especially in areas where there is only one ATM.

The two sides also discussed the issue on non-performing loans, and concluded that the government program titled “Hercules” that aims to help Greek lenders reduce bad debt, is an important step in achieving the lowering of NPLs to single-digit rate by 2022.

In an effort to offset their losses, domestic banks imposed a commission of 2 to 3 euros for each cash withdrawal by customers of other banks at their cash machines. They also forced clients to pay for services or transactions they may not be aware they have to pay extra for.

Charges are now being introduced for the issue or renewal of debit cards, the issue of a personal identification number (PIN) in cases where the cardholder has lost or forgotten it, and even printed statements at ATMs.

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