S'pore banks don't pass ATM costs on to customers
Re: "Card charge allows ATM expansion" (Letters, Jan 19)
As a Singaporean banker who frequently visits Thailand, I can assure you that SCB (and perhaps Thai banks in general) overcharge their customers on ATM usage.
While SCB and other Thai banks charge Bt100-Bt200 as an ATM/debit card issuance fee plus a Bt200-Bt250 annual fee, banks in Singapore such as DBS do not charge any of these fees.
In addition, while Thai banks normally only allow four free uses of the ATM pool per month and Bt5-Bt10 per transaction thereafter (no max), Singaporean banks generously allow 90 free uses per month (three/day) as long as you maintain a certain minimum balance. (As for "fall-below" fees, Thai and Singapore banks charge about the same, at Bt50 or 2 Singapore dollars per month.) So, do Singaporean banks not face the operating fees that SCB seems to emphasise? Of course they do. The difference is that Singaporean banks choose not to pass on these costs to their customers. As far as Thai banks, I suspect they simply want to maximise non-interest income at the expense of their customers.