Work perks 'on the way', Suncorp abolishes biz fees

Suncorp becomes first bank to abolish business account-keeping fees and deposits fees on everyday business banking accounts

February 24, 2010

Small business employees could enjoy pay rises, more incentives and upgraded work equipment if banks abolished business account fees, according to new research commissioned by Suncorp Metway.

The independent survey of small business owners comes as Suncorp announced it was the first bank to abolish business account-keeping fees and deposits fees on everyday business banking accounts.

Executive Manager Tony Meredith says Suncorp could save businesses up to $6,000 a year.

"Suncorp is now the only bank in Australia without any deposit fees for business customers," Meredith says.

"Lots of other banks have tinkered with fees and announced short-term fee relief but this a genuine and enduring change for Suncorp business banking customers," he says.

Customers of the new Business Everyday Account will pay no account-keeping fee, no deposit fees in-branch and no electronic fees for internal transfers.

Survey results

When quizzed about how they would spend the money saved on bank fees, 56 percent of Brisbane small business owners say they would upgrade existing equipment.

Another 10 percent said they would buy drinks for staff celebrations and 6 percent would give employees a pay rise.

The Suncorp survey also found hidden charges was the number one bank account gripe for Brisbane small business owners, with 30 percent of respondents saying that is what they hated most followed by complicated fees (25 percent) and fee changes without warning (24 percent).

By cutting frees for Suncorp small business accounts, Meredith says Suncorp will reduce the stress for business owners which are essentially the "lifeblood of the Australian economy".

"We have also reduced the three-year fixed rate for small business owners at a time where rates are expected to increase," he says.

"More people are choosing to fix their business loans in this market so the slashed rate option makes it even more attractive for small businesses."

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