BOV new charge applicable on customer’s combined average book balance

New €10 charge introduced this month draws customers’ ire • BusinessToday looks into when charge is actually applied


A charge introduced this month by Bank of Valletta – reportedly for when account balances fall below €200 – does not actually apply for each account held by the customer, but only on the average balance of all the customer’s savings accounts, BusinessToday has learned.

Through September, many BOV clients complained that they were being charged €10 if the balance in the account fell below €200.

Amongst the most vocal in their complaints to this newspaper were senior citizens, who said they were made to pay the charges since they would withdraw their entire pension each month to be able to live off it.

However when contacted, Claudette Pace, Manager of BOV’s Market Intelligence Unit, explained that the €10 was actually not charged each month, nor did it apply for each of a client’s accounts.

“As from 1 September the Bank introduced a charge of €10.00 per quarter per customer – not per account – for combined accounts average book balance of less than €200,” she told BusinessToday.

“The charge applies if the combined average book balance of all the savings accounts held by a customer during the previous quarter is less than €200.00.”

As to why the charge was introduced, Pace said the bank’s aim was to encourage customers to keep a minimum of €200 in their accounts, since bank accounts and services cost money, especially when kepy with zero or minimal accounts.

She did acknowledge that customers who only had only savings account and who needed to withdraw all the funds each month would be affected by the introduction of the charge.

“We understand that some of our customers may not have the minimum average amount, and we are guiding such customers to close any extra accounts which are not being utilised and opt for a Basic Payment Account, so as to avoid the charge,” she said.

With a BOV Basic Payment Account, customers can keep track of expenses, pay bills and receive money. Statements are issued at regular intervals. Customers can also manage their account using any of the Bank's self-service banking channels, which include ATMs, BOV Internet Banking and BOV Mobile.

The new charge does not apply to BOV Club Accounts, Young Savers Accounts and Basic Payment Accounts.

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