Solidarity ditches Absa

Johannesburg - Trade union Solidarity and civil rights organisation AfriForum are voting with their feet by removing accounts from banking group Absa after the movement found it and Standard Bank were South Africa's most expensive.
 
The organisations said on Wednesday that Flip Buys (general secretary), Dirk Hermann (deputy general secretary), Kallie Kriel (executive director AfriForum) and Alana Bailey (deputy executive director of AfriForum) will all move their personal accounts to FNB and Nedbank respectively.
 
Meanwhile Willie Spies, legal adviser of AfriForum, has indicated that his legal firm, Hurter & Spies, has moved "millions of rands in investments on behalf of clients". The investment accounts of the respective institutions will be moved to FNB and Investec.
 
Solidarity would also be distributing its bank charges report to its 100 000 membership, 65% of which the union says, are clients of Absa.
 
"There is no doubt that bank charges are too high, but there is a misperception that it is too much of a hassle to move accounts," said AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel.
 
The difficulties associated with transferring a bank account were highlighted in the Solidarity report.
 
"People who are dissatisfied with a hairdresser or grocer's prices, service or any other aspect switch to another provider of similar products or service fairly easily. Transferring a bank account, on the other hand, is regarded as difficult, cumbersome, confusing and time consuming," said Solidarity.
 
Absa and Standard also scored poorly in a recent report by Finweek magazine.
 
According to the Finweek report over the last five years Absa costs on their Pay As You Transact (PAYT) have risen 82% since 2005 while Standard Bank was up 64%.

On the packaged options Absa rose 75% while Absa was up 2.5%.

Asked whether this move by Solidarity and AfriForum would have any real impact, Kriel responded that it would be a first step.

"The banks think that people won't move their accounts and as long as they continue to think this we won't have a competitive banking industry," said Kriel.

By midday on Wednesday Absa was trading down 15c (0.1%) to R135.85.

- Fin24.com

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