THE RESULTS are in for an internet poll conducted by Czech website Bankovnipoplatky.com that asked almost 28,000 Slovak and Czech banking clients to vote on this year's most absurd banking fee, the Hospodárske Noviny economic daily wrote.
The fee for maintaining a current account came in first among clients from both countries. In Slovakia, the fee for large deposits came in second, followed by the fee for crediting interest.
The poll's organisers told the daily that their goal is to publicise some of the more nonsensical banking fees in the hopes of getting them lowered.
The poll was first held in 2005 in the Czech Republic. That year, Czech voters chose the fee for deposits as the most absurd. The next year, the winner was the fee for withdrawing cash from a dispenser operated by one's own bank. Last year, the account movement fee was awarded the dubious honour by 84 percent of voters in Slovakia.
Those three fees were ineligible for first place this year in an effort to highlight other fees, organisers said. After voting is finished this year, a super vote will take place to chose the most absurd fee from among the years' winners.
Slovak banks earned almost Sk15.3 billion from banking fees in 2007, according to data from the National Bank of Slovakia.
Organisers pointed out that their goal is not to dispute the necessity of banking fees, but to open a discussion of whether all fees are necessary, and in what amount.
Banks do have options when it comes to fees, which is proven by the fact that as many as a dozen different kinds of fees have been eliminated over the years, the daily wrote.
This year's poll was the first time that the votes from Slovak and Czech banking clients were compiled into a single survey. Slovak clients had previously voted through Hospodárske Noviny's website, www.hnonline .sk.