Banks’ ongoing trend of increased fees for different goods and services in Bulgaria is still present. Since the beginning of August, the continuous rise has been a reality, mainly about the service in the branches. The reason is that local services are more expensive due to inflation and the administrative overhead of preserving a branch network.
Most banks have accepted the adjustment, and some banks increased costs in September. In a branch, a bank transfer already costs 4-5 leva (2 EUR); for some people, it can cost as much as 6 leva.
Bank fee income increased faster than interest income in the year’s first half. According to the sources, the rise on an annual basis reached BGN 700 million by the end of June. They claim that the pattern that emerged years ago can be reversed due to the beginning of interest rate increases by raising fees to repay for declining interest income.
Nowadays, banks follow a new trend; when an individual withdraws some cash from an ATM with a debit card, the fee will be a percentage of the withdrawn amount with a fixed minimum rate. Until now, this was the practice for credit cards. Until now, this has always been the custom of credit cards.
Changes are also being made for October, such as the largest bank, “Unicredit Bulbank,” charging BGN 8 instead of BGN 2 at the moment if an individual wants to open an account with a debit card. The expenditure is the same as starting an account without a card. Additionally, the bank will slightly increase the fees on the account for fundamental procedures.
The banking system’s profit during the first seven months of 2022 went BGN 1.2 billion, which shows an increase of almost 50% yearly. As of July, the net income from fees and commissions increased by more than 21% annually to BGN 830 million. In nominal terms, the volume increase over the previous year was close to BGN 147 million.
Rising bank fees are mainly responsible for these profits, but the continued strong economic growth, accompanied by more transfers and other banking services, also plays a vital role.