Saturday, September 19, 2015

Customers with checking accounts in Singapore should be aware of T&C and bank service fees

What irks me and probably many others is that banks don't work in the best interest of customers. When banks advertise next time, they should just say the truth, "WE WORK ONLY FOR YOUR MONEY & CUSTOMERS ARE JUST NUMBERS".

I have just realized that Citibank checking account had updated their terms and conditions (T&C). It used to be that we have to keep a minimum of $2000 in the account to have the service fee waived. I was surprised to notice that that minimum amount had been revised to $5000. If customers have less than $5000 in their checking accounts, a monthly fee of $10 per month applies. I am charged $50 for 5 months.

What does it mean?

Citibank is earning at least 2.4% pa of interest if my deposit is $4999 (above $5000 for waiver). Or at least 12% pa if my deposit is $1000. Also, if I have $100 in the account, it will only take 10 months for Citibank to wipe it clean.

Now, what upsets me is that Citibank did not contact me to inform about the service fee charges. There is no courtesy call to talk to customers and advice them to top up the deposit so that Citibank will not keep on savaging customers' hard-earned deposits (without them knowing about it; akin to a silent killer, e.g. cancer). If there should be any service charges, we as customers should be made aware of first before Citibank (or any other banks) starts deducting deposits! Furthermore, Citibank should charge us via bills and not by automatic deduction from our accounts! At least with bills, customers are made aware of impending fees or bills to be paid. By surreptitiously deducting our deposit is unfair (especially when some customers don't regularly check online statements) or might be oversea on months' assignment.

Why Citibank bother to get customers' contact details if Citibank will not use that to talk to customers when there is a REAL NEED? To me, the only use of my contact detail to Citibank is to SPAM call me about additional credit cards, more loans, insurance etc. That is not for my best of interest. That to me is a nuisance. It irks me more especially when Citibank failed to call me when they decided to charge me service fees. If Citibank had billed me instead of deducting from my deposit, I would have been less upset. Parking my money with Citibank is not safe anymore after this incident and especially considering that Citibank could at their whims decide to deduct something from my checking account (without notifying account holders). I am deciding to look for alternatives real soon.

Note that I have severed any link/business with Maybank Singapore. The reason: I was upset by the way Maybank handled my online money transfer oversea. I was charged two types of fees to transfer the money, i.e. transfer fee and exchange fee in Singapore for a sum of money that I wanted transferred to someone in Malaysia.

I was shocked to get a call from the recipient saying that the amount I transferred was insufficient. It seemed that Maybank Malaysia decided to charge me a transfer/deposit fee as well (and deducted the sum from the money transferred without notifying me!). That was a big embarrassment to me especially when the exact sum transferred was to pay off an EXACT debt! Nowadays, whenever I see solicitors from Maybank credit cards/services, I simply tell them that I hate the bank they represent and walk off.

I am contemplating of doing the same for CITIBANK.

Sorry, I just needed to vent out my frustration. That was my two cents thought.

Related complaints about fees for checking accounts in other banks

Read also
Singapore Checking/current accounts

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