The Consumers’ Association has hit out at the news that HSBC Malta has introduced a €5 banking fee for services, saying that this move targets pensioners and low-income earners.
The association said that customers of the bank received a note stating that if they don’t deposit €2,300 or more over a three-month period, they will have to pay a €5 fee.
Those aged 61 or over need to deposit €1,250 or over instead.
The CA said that the interest rates given by banks is already ridiculous, and that banks use their customers’ funds to lend and earn higher interest than what they offer.
The biggest impact of additional charges will be on vulnerable consumers, on those whose income go into accounts with another bank for example, the CA added. The association said that HSBC’s move could encourage other banks to do the same.
The situation, the CA said, could affect competition between banks. It said that banks cannot continue to solely protect their interests while oppressing the vulnerable.