AIB accused of hiking fees under cover of Anglo scandal
STATE-rescued AIB is to hit consumers and businesses with higher charges in a move that will see some of its fees double.
The bank was last night accused of "cynical media manipulation" for announcing the changes at a time when the news agenda was dominated by the revelations about Anglo Irish Bank.
Consumers will see the cost of withdrawing cash from an ATM shoot by 75pc to 35c when the new charges take effect from the end of August.
Businesses will be hit with a new account maintenance fee of €4.50 every three months for the first time.
Consumers with current accounts will see the cost of lodging a cheque rise from from 30c to 35c.
Getting a foreign currency draft will cost €7, up from €4.44 for both personal current account holders and businesses. And the bank will start charging consumers for contactless card payments from next February.
Anyone who needs a bank staff member to help them carry out a transaction will see the charge jump from 30c to 39c from August 31.
And there will be a new charge of €4.50 for setting up a standing order from the middle of September next.
Chairman of the Consumers Association Michael Kilcoyne said consumers were now being treated so badly by banks they had bailed out that they should consider asking their employers to pay them in cash.
The AIB move comes days after Bank of Ireland revealed new higher fees for personal customers to take effect from August.
Mr Kilcoyne accused AIB of announcing the higher charges at a time when the focus was on the Anglo Irish/IRBC bank scandal, calling it "cynical media management".
An AIB spokeswoman claimed the higher fees will cost the average consumer just 75c extra a month. And businesses would face additional costs of €1.90 a month.
The bank said that around 40pc of its personal customers would not be affected. Those who maintain a balance of €2,500 in their account do not incur maintenance fees.
And students and the over-60s get free banking, AIB said.
The bank, which got €21bn from the taxpayer, has around one million personal customers.
AIB's director of products, Fergus Murphy, said: "We recognise that any increases in charges to our customers are unwelcome but unfortunately we have no option but to ensure that the bank is covering costs on the services it provides."