Charges: Capitec still the cheapest

2013-08-21 00:00

CAPITEC still offers the cheapest mainstream account, while Absa’s Silver Value Bundle is the cheapest current account over four tested user profiles.

These findings stem from Solidarity’s fourth annual report on bank charges, which was presented yesterday in Centurion by the Solidarity Research Institute senior researcher Paul Joubert.

The report compares charges for personal bank accounts offered by Absa, FNB, Standard Bank, Nedbank, and Capitec. Apart from finding that monthly bank costs have started to stagnate at an R80 to R100 level, Joubert said that there was a trend at banks to market bundled accounts with fixed fees rather than accounts on which clients had to pay a charge per transaction.

He warned that cash withdrawals from ATMs are not normally included in bundle account fees and can increase bank fees to a significant degree. Capitec charges the lowest fees for an ATM withdrawal at R7 per transaction, irrespective of the amount drawn.

Other banks’ ATM charges for R500 cash range from R12,80 at FNB; to R15,45 at Standard Bank; R15,70 at Absa; and R15,75 at Nedbank.

To withdraw R2 000 from an ATM, a Nedbank client will pay R34,50 in fees; an Absa client R32,95; a Standard Bank client R31,20; and a FNB client R25,50, while a Capitec client will still pay R7.

The report said FNB had lowered its ATM charges after being identified as charging its clients the most for this service last year.

Joubert said banks had no reason to fine clients for unsuccessful debit orders, which fines range from R10 to R138. He said banks are in no way disadvantaged if a debit order does not go off.

According to the report the cheapest mainstream account in 2013 is Capitec’s Global One Account, which costs consumers R52,02 monthly, followed by FNB’s Smart Unlimited at R53,20 monthly.

Absa was third with its Silver Value Bundle at R82 per month, Nedbank’s Savvy Current was R97 monthly, and Standard Bank’s Elite Plus account charged R102,40.

Joubert said FNB significantly decreased the fees of its Easy Account this year to target low-income consumers. He said FNB beat Capitec on cost on this level for the first time after Capitec’s success in this market. The full report is available at

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