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Rising fees an additional burden

Fees and other bank charges have added to the rising cost of living to become another burden on businesses and consumers. Among the increases are financial services costs, an almost 10 percent hike, and the cost of loans and deposit fees, rising by 16.2 percent.

The banks justify the rise as an offset to higher funding costs due to interest rate rises, although lending finance has dropped by 20 percent this year.

Elissa Freeman, senior policy officer with consumer group Choice, says while consumer usually looked at interest rates and loan application fees, other fees – such as the exit fee for early repayment of a loan – were becoming an issue.
“The evidence is that this sort of fee is being incurred more often and the level of the fee is creeping up. On an average loan for $250,000, fees can be anything from $400 to $5500,” she reported.

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