Layton on ATM Fees - nobody is holding a gun to your headSave this online in Del.icio.us. [?] Vote For this Post
NDP leader Jack Layton has been making headlines with his proposal to ban all "ATM fees" in Canada.
More specifically, he is talking about banning the charges you pay if you use another bank's ATM. Normally those fees are about 1.50 to the owner of the ATM you use and about the same to your bank. Why do the banks charge said fees.
1) Say the Royal Bank has a popular ATM location. ATM's are not "free" to operate, there is the receipt paper, someone has to load the cash, cleanup the machine. Why should the Royal Bank be subsidizing the customers of other banks?
2) When you use an ATM other than your own bank's there are interchange fees paid to the cash dispensing bank. While those fees may not be $1.50, they are for sure not 0.00. Why should your bank be paying those fees when you could use their own ATMs and save everyone the hassle.
One could never walk into a branch and get cash from from a branch of the competition - let alone for free. Why are ATMs any different.
If you don't like the selection of ATM's your bank offers, switch. Personally my bank gives me access to a network of over 6000 ATMs across Canada that I can use without paying a penny in fees. You chose to use the bank that you did. Don't expect their competition to allow you to use their ATMs.
Interac may be paid for, but the recurring costs still exist. ATM's cost around 50,000 each. The banks wouldn't install as many ATMs if they couldn't recoop their investment.
You have that choice. If you want to use that ATM, it's your money, it's your choice. Governments have no role in regulating free enterprise.