Can my bank change my account maintenance and management fees?
When you open an account, one of the first things that probably catches your attention is the maintenance and management fee i.e., whether the bank charges you an amount periodically for services related to your account (maintenance) and for using the account, for instance, withdrawing money or using bank cards (management).
Many bank commercial offers establish a series of conditions that exempt the customer from paying these fees. These may include directly crediting your salary, taking out other products, such as a card or deposit, or maintaining a minimum amount of money in the account. This is how the bank tries to engage with you in case you need to purchase other products in the future.
But the moment you stop meeting the conditions originally agreed, you will find that you have been charged these fees when you thought they didn’t apply to you. The bank may also send you a notification modifying the conditions that were in place when you opened the account, and the requirements you must meet to be exempt from these fees may change. If you ignore the notification and do not do anything, you will find yourself in the same situation.
Remember that since account contracts do not expire and are usually long-lasting, banks can change the conditions, for example by changing the amount of a specific fee or the conditions under which it is applied. Before applying any such changes, your bank must inform you individually at least two months in advance to give you a reasonable period of time to assess the changes and decide whether to transfer the account to another bank (the account transfer service will help make this process easier).
This happens more frequently than you think. Also, the management fee may be quite high, since it is usually calculated on the basis of the number of transactions carried out in a given period, i.e. the number of times you have withdrawn money from the account, the number of receipts charged, etc. It can add up to quite a bit. You should also be aware that the maintenance fee may be a percentage of the average account balance, instead of a fixed amount.
Remember to check the conditions of your account regarding maintenance and management fees; keep this in mind when making any change that may affect them (changing direct salary crediting or cancelling a product) and review your bank’s notifications.