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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 21.09.2021, 23:31

Estonians don’t complain about high bank fees

Juhan Tere, BC, Tallinn, 12.01.2011.Print version
Although Estonian banks ask high service fees, as compared for example to Swedish banks, people do not seem to mind that much – they complain sometimes, but generally clients are satisfied with the services and no on rushes to pick another bank, LETA/Postimees writes.

For example in 2009, larger Estonian banks earned net service fees of around 127 million EUR (2 billion EEK). This is in the range of 1% of Estonia’s GDP.


In 2009, SEB earned EUR 38.5 million (EEK 602.5 million) and Swedbank EUR 61.2 million (EEK 958 million) and Sampo bank 13.6 million EUR (213 million EEK) of net service fees. There is no separate data on Nordea’s Estonian bank but it should be in the range of Sampo’s.


It is difficult to answer whether the service fees in Estonia are too high, since even if one tried to compare services of these banks in Estonia and in their home countries Sweden and Denmark, the figures are not comparable since services and habits are different. For example Estonian bank clients have to pay less for transactions in bank offices than Swedish clients while Estonians pay more for internet banking.


Swedbank’s retail banking head Ulla Ilisson and SEB Estonia business development division director Mart Maasik both refer to a report by the European Commission according to which the service fees in Estonia are low.


The European Commission has calculated the service fee costs of an average client who has a bank account. In Estonia such a client pays 51 EUR a year and Estonia is on the 21st position among 27 states. However, the newspaper says, Estonia is one of the poorest states in Europe and thus the relative size of banking fees is much higher.

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