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Banking fees to go up again

SLOVAK banks have been increasing their fees on a monthly basis since January 2012, and August will be no exception, the Sme daily reported on July 15, when five banking institutions plan to increase their fees.

SLOVAK banks have been increasing their fees on a monthly basis since January 2012, and August will be no exception, the Sme daily reported on July 15, when five banking institutions plan to increase their fees.

Three banks, VÚB Bank, UniCredit Bank and ČSOB will hike fees for certain service packages in an effort to make new services more attractive.

Although the banks deny that the continual rise in fees is motivated by the increased bank levy (requiring banks to pay the state €175 million within two years) introduced by the Robert Fico government, analyst Vladimír Baláž of the Slovak Academy of Sciences suggested for Sme that it might be so.

The Slovak Banking Association has already argued that the tax is six times higher than the average rate in the European Union, Sme reported, and it will be the highest in the EU after Hungary cancels its banking tax as of next year.

The banks, on the other hand, argue that the higher fees are a result of lower revenues from fees, irregular loan activity of retail and corporate clients, and introduction of new technologies that the banks had to invest in.

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