“This is the time where we announce our fee increases. Around this time fee increases are generally on 1 January so [we’re] delighted this year to say that for 2014 our prices remain as they are and for the vast majority of all our clients there will be no increase in our fees,” Anton De Wet from Nedbank retail and business banking told CNBC Africa.
Dropping prices has been a competitive edge technique within the industry, and a number of banks have used their low cost as a key marketing their products.
“Price is obviously an important component, but you’ve got to look at price in the context of what you get for the price,” de Wet explained.
“We’ve been looking at excellent client service, increased distribution, innovative product development and this move on price just makes the whole offering that much more compelling and competitive.”
There is however a price exception in the Private Wealth space, which Nedbank has decided to exclude from its plan to keep prices as they are. De Wet added that moderate increases in fees would however still be on a competitive level.
In the past, the National Consumer Commission had called for greater transparency in banking fees, with some suggestions as far as putting the charge on the ATM screen for each transaction.
“The commitment from Nedbank, and certainly in the industry, [we] have embraced a move towards greater transparency. There are very many technical difficulties around being able to put up the price per transaction per ATM screen. Depending on what product you’re on, which ATM you use, what package, what transaction, it gets exceedingly complex,” said de Wet.
He added that product-bundled offerings, would however give the client the opportunity to know the number of ATM transactions within the bundle, whether their fees are capped and what they’re paying for.
“Nedbank’s started this journey some years ago between 2006 and 2007, where there was a big drop in our fees at the time. [We] also moved towards simpler product and pricing at the time. Some move some years ago to try and simplify the pricing and continued commitment to do the same,” said de Wet.