Estonian banks more expensive than Swedish

  • 2005-07-20
  • From wire reports
TALLINN - A leading business paper reported that the price of select banking services in Hansapank and Uhispank is considerably higher than in the two Swedish-owned mother banks.

The Aripaev daily wrote that, as opposed the mother banks in Sweden, Estonian banks have imposed charges on the withdrawal of cash and several kinds of transfers. It is also more expensive to make international settlements via Estonian banks, the paper added.

Bank officials said the higher transfer charges depend on mediator banks' service charges. As the volume of foreign settlements is considerably smaller in Estonia than in most other European banks, contractual partners ask a higher fee for settlements.

Swedbank head of communications Henrik Kolga was quoted as saying that Hansapank's prices are based on the model they have always had. "The price levels are affected by the market. We do not coordinate the price level between markets here in Sweden," he said.

With the transition to the euro in 2007, a EU directive will come into effect establishing new prices both to domestic and international settlements within the European Union. In line with the directive, the price of cross-border settlements within the EU must not be higher than similar domestic settlements. As a result, settlement prices within the union are expected to fall and become even with those of domestic ones.