Share article:
Share article:

Minister demands audit of bank charges for cash withdrawals

One of the new common cashpoint machines. © Batopin

Federal economy minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne (PS) has demanded an accounting from the four big banks of the fees they charge their customers for making cash withdrawals from cashpoint machines.

The banks – KBC, Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis and ING – recently announced a plan to join their cashpoint machines by 2025 in a network of independent machines, which would be better-spread across the country and operated by Batopin as Bancontact machines.

The idea is laudable, as more and more bank branches either close or get rid of cash machines at local branches, especially in remote communes, making it difficult for many people to obtain cash for payments with long journeys.

The four banks promise they will organise their network in such a way as to make a machine available to everyone within a radius of 5km – which is still a considerable distance for the elderly and those less mobile.

That cannot guarantee that every Belgian has easy access to a cash machine,” Dermagne said.

That is problematic. It is time for banks to respect their commitments, the laws and their customers.”

But for the moment, Dermagne is turning his attention on the charges banks demand for use of the machines, in particular from each other. Those interbank charges are of course passed on to the customer, with only the first 24 withdrawals a year – two a month – being free.

Interbank charges, which he has asked the National Bank to investigate, would stimulate banks to reverse the shrinking of the cashpoint network, he said.

Although at the same time it would increase the cost of withdrawals for customers, many of whom are already disadvantaged by the switch away from cash.

Latest news

Increase in number of people ‘asking King for mercy’ through royal pardons
More and more people living in Belgium have been seeking royal pardons, mainly for fines, largely as a result of it now being possible to send in ...
England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Federal museums to receive €2.9 million booster shot
Federal museums will receive an additional €2.9 million in support from the government for the fiscal year 2021, of which the first payouts will be ...
European Parliament emphasises healthy food and animal welfare in EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Parliament adopted this week a resolution on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy calling for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Number of international adoptions in Belgium continues to drop
The number of regulated international adoptions authorised by Belgium further dropped in 2020, continuing an ongoing decreasing trend. Last ...
Disaster drill with emergency services held at Brussels Airport
Around 300 people took part in a disaster drill held was organised on Saturday by Brussels Airport in collaboration with external emergency services ...
Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...