Dent in your balance

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SummaryThrow caution to the winds and your bank could charge for services you thought were free

information may land in the wrong hands, resulting in privacy breach or frauds.

Returned cheque

If a cheque issued by the customer is not honoured (bounces) and is returned to the bank, a penalty is charged by the bank. The fine will depend on the nature of cheque dishonour. If the cheque is dishonoured due to insufficient balance, the penalty is higher and, if a third person had issued a cheque in the customer’s name but it bounces due to insufficient funds, a lower penalty is levied on the customer. The penalty amount can vary from R50 to R750. In many cases, cheque dishonour may also result in criminal cases; hence, it is always advisable to issue a cheque only after checking the bank balance.

Stop payment

If you make a stop-payment request against an issued cheque, the bank will levy charges that could be very high. Some banks do not levy such charges in case of online requests; however, the charges will be levied if you visit the branch.

ATM PIN request

If you misplace or forget your current ATM PIN or it expires as you did not use your card within the stipulated time, the bank will levy charges for issuing a new PIN. There are no charges levied for changing the PIN at an ATM. However, issue of new PIN may take up to one week and will incur maximum charges of R50.

If you close a bank account within six months to one year of opening, account closure charges will be levied by the bank. Bank charges are easy to avoid if one operates their bank account with prudence. Most of the charges are avoidable if we review your account regularly.

The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com

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