I noticed last night that HSBC in Malta has decided to start levying a charge for it’s customers to use their Internet banking facility.I normally have no problem for paying for a service, but this just feels totally wrong.
Let’s examine how Internet banking came about. It was born of a necessity to drive down costs for banks by reducing the number of interactions that required a staff member to process them. Staff costs are the largest section of variable cost that can be attributed with dealing with a client request and empowering users to service themselves is touted in all the textbooks as the premier way to increase service levels and drive down costs. So I find it pretty shocking that a bank still offers personal banking for free while introduces a levy for online banking.
There have been a couple of of letters in the paper about it, but I won’t be holding my breath that anything will change. HSBC may still have my business, but they have definetly made a great dent in my respect for their banking practices.