Financial services group Absa says that it is embarking on a ‘comprehensive review’ of its services and fee structures for 2021, following a year of strain and financial difficult for many South Africans.
As such, it has delayed the implementation of new fees and pricing on its accounts by two months.
Absa, Nedbank and Standard Bank, typically introduce new fees starting 1 January of a given year. With Absa’s delay, the bank has now pushed this back to 1 March 2021.
The bank said it would communicate these changes to customers in February 2021, and the current 2020 pricing will remain in place until then.
Cowyk Fox, managing executive for Everyday Banking, Absa Retail and Business Bank said that the bank was “acutely aware of the extreme financial pressure experienced by South Africans during 2020”, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown.
“Many organisations, including Absa, instituted payment relief measures to alleviate financial difficulty encountered by both individuals and businesses. In Absa’s case, we have offered comprehensive payment relief programmes and reviewed the embedded retrenchment benefits included in our transactional offers to provide our customers with more comprehensive cover,” Fox said.
The bank offered more than R240 million in relief to customers through a combination of fee reductions and interest rate subsidies, Fox noted, adding that price reductions on select fees and the reduction of Saswitch ATM cash withdrawal fees earlier in the year were two examples of this.
“We have (now) embarked on a comprehensive review of our service offering to customers across all segments.
“With fundamental shifts in transactional and banking behaviour noted in 2020, and crucial insights gained from our payment relief programmes, it is now an opportune time to review Absa’s entire pricing and service offering, with a view to further alleviating the financial pressure experienced by consumers through strategic price relief in certain areas to provide even more value for money,” Fox said.
“We remain committed to offering unparalleled value for money and continuing on a path of sustainable growth. A cornerstone of Absa’s pricing approach will be to offer a fully transparent and clear pricing model, which provides customers with defined and detailed pricing – no hidden costs,” Fox said.
The 2020 pricing schedule that will remain in effect for Absa customers until 1 March 2021 includes:
|Absa Gold||2019 Fees||R500 transaction in 2019||2020/21 Fees||R500 transaction in 2020/21||% Change|
|Withdrawal (Native)||R4.50 + R1.50/R100||R12.00||R2.00/R100||R10.00||-16.7%|
|Withdrawal (Saswitch)||R10.50 + R1.50/R100||R18.00||R11.50 + R2.00/R100||R21.50||+19.4%|
|Deposit (ATM)||R4.50 + R1.60/R100||R12.50||R2.00/R100||R10.00||-20.0%|
|Debit order (internal)||Free||Free||–|
|Debit order (external)||R19.00||R19.00||–|
|Account fee (PAYT)||R107.00||R109.00||+1.9%|