Will Australian bank accounts ever be as expensive-250

Will Australian bank accounts ever be as expensive as American bank accounts?

The average monthly fee for a bank account in America is $12.50. That’s a total of $150 per year gone to fees.

In September 2015, the Economist reported that about 8% of American households didn’t have bank accounts in 2013. Half claimed that it was too expensive. Financial services were said to be the culprit. Minimum monthly balances, high monthly fees, and unexpected fees were reasons for this perspective. In 2015, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation also released a report that stated about another 20% (24.8 million) of U.S. households were underbanked in 2013. This means they had bank accounts but sought other financial services to avoid the cost of banking. These numbers were predicted to rise.

Two of the reasons for not banking, came to not having enough money and feeling that account fees were too high and unpredictable. These made up 49% of the total reasons according to the report.

Why are American bank accounts so expensive?

After the 2009 Global Financial Crisis, banks tightened up lending. This meant that it made less money on traditional loans such as mortgages. Instead, American banks turned to bank account fees to make up for the difference.

Will banks accounts become too expensive in Australia?

According to Smart Company, Australian banks performed well since 2012 and even achieved more worth at one stage than the entire European banking sector. But news reports since 2014 are putting pressure on banks.

This can influence the prices Aussies have to pay for bank accounts. Commodity prices have been taking sharp plunges, there are tighter lending standards and international investing into Australia has become more expensive. These combined factors mean banks are facing rising expenses.

Bloomberg reported earlier in 2016 that, "Australian bank bonds haven’t been this expensive to insure, compared to U.S. financial debt in more than a decade." Along with that, Westpac disclosed in an email that “[t]he industry is facing a lot of pressure with significant increases in wholesale funding costs and increased capital”.

It is possible that Aussies will see higher margins than before on their banking account costs. This won't necessarily mean bank accounts will become too expensive, but definitely more expensive than in the past.

How American and Australian banks compare to each other in terms of cost

Although there are banks in the United States that offer free accounts, these tend to be local smaller banks with less national and international infrastructure. Many of them also require big opening balances. These can include banks like Ally Bank, EverBank, First National Bank of Omaha, and Colorado Federal Savings Bank as examples.

Bigger banks, such as Bank of America, charges a $14 monthly maintenance fee for a regular checking account. This means $168 in fees gone to the bank.

There are a handful of bank accounts in Australia that don’t have monthly fee no matter what. Most will require that you meet a monthly minimum deposit to get the $0 monthly fee.

Compare fee-free bank accounts in the table below

Rates last updated May 27th, 2018
$
Name Product Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Monthly Account Fee Product Description
NAB Classic Banking
Visa
$0
$0
Impressive digital perks.
$0 monthly account fee.
Tap and pay with your NAB Visa Debit card, NAB Pay for Android or NAB PayTag for iPhone. Temporarily block your card at the touch of a button if you lose it.
ING Orange Everyday Account
Visa
$0
$1,000
$75 cash bonus.
$0 monthly account fees.
Receive a $75 cash bonus if you open a new Orange Everyday account, enter the promotional code and deposit at least $1,000 within a calendar month and make 5+ card purchases (T&Cs apply). Get a competitive ongoing variable rate when linked with an ING Savings Maximiser.
HSBC Day to Day Transaction Account
Visa
$0
$0
Open an account and easily switch your regular payments over from your current bank.
$0 monthly account fee.
Through your linked Visa debit card, you can access exclusive shopping, travel and restaurant deals here and abroad through HSBC's home&Away Privilege Program.
NAB Classic Banking with Platinum Visa Debit Card
Visa
$0
$0
1% cashback on contactless purchases, $0 foreign transaction fee and complimentary travel insurance.
$10 waivable monthly account fee.
Complimentary travel insurance, transport accident insurance, purchase protection insurance and more when you meet eligibility criteria. Book travel and restaurants through NAB's 24/7 Concierge Service.
HSBC Everyday Global Account
Visa
$0
$0
No foreign ATM or transaction fees.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy no minimum ongoing balance or transaction requirements and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated May 27th, 2018
$
Name Product Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Monthly Account Fee Product Description
ING Orange Everyday Account
Visa
$0
$1,000
$75 cash bonus.
$0 monthly account fees.
Receive a $75 cash bonus if you open a new Orange Everyday account, enter the promotional code and deposit at least $1,000 within a calendar month and make 5+ card purchases (T&Cs apply). Get a competitive ongoing variable rate when linked with an ING Savings Maximiser.
St.George Complete Freedom Account
Visa
$0
$2,000
Pay with Samsung Pay & manage your budget with the St.George Spend Tracker.
$5 waivable monthly account fee.
Monthly account fee waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month, are under 21 or if you meet other eligibility criteria.
Westpac Choice
Mastercard
$0
$2,000
Complimentary Student or Youth Discount Card
$5 waivable monthly account fee.
Monthly account fee waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month, are under 21 or if you meet other eligibility criteria. Full-time students and those aged 31 and younger save thousands on travel and experiences through the complimentary Student Discount Card
BankSA Complete Freedom Account
Visa
$0
$2,000
$50 cash bonus available.
A flexible option for those living in South Australia. Manage your budget with a spend tracker and pay with Samsung Pay.
$5 waivable monthly account fee.
Monthly account fee waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month, are under 21 or if you meet other eligibility criteria.

ANZ Access Advantage
Visa
$0
$2,000
Pay with Apple Pay, Google Pay & Samsung Pay.
$5 waivable monthly account fee.
Monthly account fee waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month, are under 25 or if you meet other eligibility criteria.
Bank of Melbourne Complete Freedom
Visa
$0
$2,000
A flexible option for those living in Victoria. Manage your budget with a spend tracker and pay with Samsung Pay.
$5 waivable monthly account fee.
Monthly account fee waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month, are under 21 or if you meet other eligibility criteria.

Compare up to 4 providers

Shirley Liu

Shirley Liu is a program manager at finder, formerly the publisher for Banking and Investments. She is passionate about helping people make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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