With the current economic system, it has become almost impossible to do without the banks for our expenses, credits, financing, etc. However, you should bear in mind that using these banking institutions generates significant costs. If you are concerned about the cost of a bank, then here are some methods to better monitor your expenses.
How do you know the cost of a bank?
You can find all the bank charges that have been deducted from your account during the year in the summary statement you receive in January. Usually, this statement is accompanied by a complete edition of their rates which are applicable for the current year.
Thanks to these documents, which the bank must give you at the beginning of each year, you will be able to see how much it has cost you for the services provided, and if applicable, know the cost of payment incidents.
The various services
You can also find out more details about the true cost of banking by looking at the list of bank charges applicable during the current year, which your bank must provide you with, remember. The analysis of this list is of great importance if you want to have an optimal management of your expenses, because banks often increase their fees at the beginning of the year.
Fees and services can change from one year to the next. For example, some services that used to be free (such as account maintenance fees) may not be free the following year. The bank will then introduce this service in its new fee schedule, and you may miss out on these extra expenses if you don’t keep track of your accounts carefully.
The Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control defines bank charges as either remuneration for services rendered by the bank (e.g. card fees, account maintenance fees, etc.) or billing for irregularities in the operation of the account (debit account charges, charges for rejected payments, etc.).
Among the different types of bank charges, we can distinguish between service charges and commissions, which are the remuneration banks receive for their services (e.g. account management fees, sending chequebooks, providing a bank card, etc.).
There are also the bank overdraft charges which apply if your account is overdrawn without authorisation, or if it exceeds the overdraft authorisation, or if it remains in debit for longer than provided for in the agreement.
Finally, we have the bank rejection fee. These are applied when your account is in debit and you have made payments that have been rejected by the bank.