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Banks lower ATM fees

Several German banks have lowered their ATM charges for withdrawing money from rivals' accounts, following government intervention.

Banks lower ATM fees
Photo: DPA

According to a report in the weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, some banks have more than halved their ATM withdrawal fees from over €10 to less than €5.

At the beginning of the year, the German government forced banks to make their ATMs show how much a withdrawal would cost.

The aim was to foster competition by giving customers more chance to choose the cheapest place to withdraw cash.

The measure seems to have had an effect, with Sparkasse branches in Anhalt-Bitterfeld and Niederlausitz, singled out as the worst offenders, reducing fees from ten euros to €4.95. The private banks that belong to the Cash Group have agreed a flat fee of €1.95.

An online consumer survey conducted in early February by the site biallo.de found that the average cost of using a non-affiliated ATM had fallen to €3.93, around €1.70 less than it was before the new regulations.

DAPD/bk

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MONEY

Italy expands €200 payment scheme and introduces public transport bonus

Italy's government will extend its proposed one-time €200 benefit to more people and introduce a €60 public transport payment, Italian media reported on Thursday.

Italy expands €200 payment scheme and introduces public transport bonus

Seasonal workers, domestic and cleaning staff, the self-employed, the unemployed and those on Italy’s ‘citizens’ income’ will be added to the categories of people in Italy eligible for a one-off €200 payment, ministers reportedly announced on Thursday evening.

The one-time bonus, announced earlier this week as part of a package of financial measures designed to offset the rising cost of living, was initially set to be for pensioners and workers on an income of less than €35,000 only.

However the government has now agreed to extend the payment to the additional groups following pressure from Italy’s labour, families, and regional affairs ministers and representatives of the Five Star Movement, according to news agency Ansa.

Pensioners and employees will reportedly receive the €200 benefit between June and July via a direct payment into their pension slip or pay packet.

For other groups, a special fund will be created at the Labour Ministry and the procedures for claiming and distributing payments detailed in an incoming decree, according to the Corriere della Sera news daily.

One new measure introduced at the cabinet meeting on Thursday is the introduction of a one-time €60 public transport bonus for students and workers earning below €35,000. The bonus is reportedly designed to encourage greater use of public transport and will take the form of an e-voucher that can be used when purchasing a bus, train or metro season pass.

Other provisions reportedly proposed in the energy and investment decree (decreto energia e investimenti), which is still being adjusted and amended, include extending energy bill discounts, cutting petrol excise duty and rolling on the deadline to claim Italy’s popular ‘superbonus 110’.

The €14 billion aid package, intended to lessen the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, will “fight the higher cost of living” and is “a temporary situation”, Prime Minister Mario Draghi has said.

The Local will report further details of the payment scheme once they become available following final approval of the decree.

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