Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary says new bank levies being heaped on businesses will further exacerbate spiralling costs. Some banks are increasing their business banking charges by 300% – a move which has been sanctioned by the Central Bank.
Deputy Calleary commented, “Businesses and farmers across Mayo are already dealing with escalating charges, with high rents and rates, high input costs and these increased banking charges will make an already challenging situation all the more difficult. These charges are coming at a time when banks are closing branches and scaling back on services, yet the business community is now expected to fork out more money to maintain their accounts. Business customers will see the charges on their accounts soar by up to 300% in some cases, with certain customers expected to pay €250 a year for services.
“There is a complete lack of competition in the business banking sector. Banks are consistently increasing charges, and pushing up the financial burden on businesses, which are already struggling to remain viable.
“These new levies will also see charges for chequebooks increase – in one case, a book of 50 cheques has soared from €4.05 to €15. This will have a major impact on self-employed people and farmers, who may be more reluctant to pay the massively inflated charges and will prefer to resort to keeping cash on site or in their homes, which in itself poses security concerns.
“Banks and government are pushing people to online banking – this is no benefit in the many areas of Mayo with poor or no broadband
“This Government has done nothing to help small and medium businesses, and the Central Bank has seen fit to approve every rate hike or charge that the banks have proposed. The Central Bank has an onus to ensure that customer interests are protected, but unfortunately, small and medium businesses across the county will suffer more hardship as a result of these additional charges”.