Make your move: on understanding bank fees

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Sometimes we mistake banks with bedroom drawers; we put our money in there and take some out when we need to. Well, hate to break it to you but it’s a little more complicated than that. Banks do keep your money safe and sound, but just like any service provider, they charge you for it. Banking fees are common; some may be hidden (quite intricately) and others are just logical. Choosing the right bank and account is like one of those IQ puzzles: There are a lot of ways to do it, they will all end up with the same result, yet the trick is in solving the puzzle in the best way possible. So today, I’ll be your puzzle master and I’m going to show you some tricks in Bank Fees.


Move 1 - Understand how it works

Bank Fees are made to generate revenue for banks, covering their costs and keeping them running. Just like any service provider, the fees are usually related to the service itself. The fee formats are pretty much similar in most banks; even though some charge more than others, you can always expect account opening/closing fees, card holding fees, or loan fees and interest rates. Regulating those banks are two key players, Banque Du Liban (BDL) and Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL). Together, they enforce certain regulations and limits, like every bank should clearly list their tarrifs on their website or what the maximum interest rates for the year are.


Move 2 - Check your facts

Before choosing your bank or opening your account, there are numbers and facts that you can look at to help you with your decision. For example, it’s mandatory for all banks to provide an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) to help you understand the fees paid against a loan. The APR describes the costs directly related to your loan like monthly payments and interest fees, as well as the ones outside of your loan like stamp, insurance, file and mortgage fees. Before taking your loan decision, use the APR calculations to help you compare bank offers and find the best option for yourself. Other than APR’s, banks charge different fees depending on the products and services provided. The details of these costs are usually stated on their corporate websites under KFS (Key Fact Statement) or list of tarrifs. Keep in mind, some fees are set for all banks and you take them as de facto. For example, monthly account fees that are set to keep your account up and running.


Move 3 - Assess your needs

The most vital part in avoiding extra costs is knowing exactly what you need and how you need it. Most people fall for the trick of opting for more than what they actually need which will impose unnecessary costs or opting for less which will add limitations. For example, if you opted for an account with a checkbook service knowing that you’ll barely use it, get rid of the checkbook entirely. If you’re starting a passbook savings account with the intention of having consistent and timely deposits with minimal withdrawals, you can choose a regular savings account which will rid you of the costs and complications of having a passbook while maintaining the same features and security. The best way to go about this is to check with your banker and come up with the right account formula together.


Move 4 - It’s time to play

From here on out, avoiding extra and unnecessary fees becomes a game of chess where every move counts. Your aim should be to avoid as many added costs as possible while making your transactions. One way to start avoiding fees is by using a bank’s online digital platforms or ATM’s instead of visiting your branch (spending less time at the bank is equivalent to less cost on all parties involved- it’s a win-win situation). What you can do through our digital platforms is limitless, check it out for yourself.

There are exceptions to the case though: for example, wiring money from your account to an external bank account will result in a double cost where you’re paying both your bank and the foreign bank for the same transaction. However, if you choose to visit the external bank and deposit the money in cash to the receiving account, it will literally cost you nothing (how’s that for every move counts?).


Dealing with your bank is like dealing with your college professors; you simply need to know your capacity, learn your facts, always be on time, and never ever be late for anything.

Don’t worry, we’ve set up our platforms to make your banking experience unbelievably simple with no surprising fees and no extra hassle. Head here, to master the 1’s and 2’s of simple banking!

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