Hate being nickel and dimed by banks?



    ING DIRECT launches www.fairfees.ca to challenge unfair bank fees

    TORONTO, May 11 /CNW/ - To help Canadians keep more of their savings
during these tough economic times, ING DIRECT has launched a web site to
challenge unfair bank fees and service charges. The site, www.fairfees.ca,
encourages Canadians to pay close attention to the bank fees they pay and
provides a means to challenge financial institutions to improve the fairness
of Canadian bank fees and service charges. In many cases, bank fees wipe out
the interest earned in savings accounts making Canadians' ability to save even
tougher during these times.
    "We've been astonished that some banks and credit card companies are
choosing now to add to their customers' burden of fees and service charges,"
said Peter Aceto, President & CEO of ING DIRECT Canada. "Without much fanfare,
some financial institutions are increasing the fees they've always charged and
adding new ones where you wouldn't expect them. The charge for a single
withdrawal on some savings accounts, for example, can wipe out months of
earned interest."
    At www.fairfees.ca, Canadians can learn more about how quickly fees cut
into interest gains, compare what they spend on banks fees versus other common
expenses, speak up about which fees are fair and take action against unfair
fees by signing an online petition.

    
    Fee Facts

    -   Of households that reported spending some money on bank fees, in 2007
        the average household spent $185. This is more than the average
        reported household spend on movie theatres ($171), hair care ($149),
        deodorants and soaps ($134) and equal to what they spent on computer
        software.(*)

    -   Canadian households reported spending an additional $231 per year on
        "other financial services fees" in 2007.(*)

    -   North Americans pay higher fees for banking services than any other
        area surveyed. Canadian pricing for core retail banking showed the
        least variation between competitors of any of the 26 countries
        surveyed. (xx)

    -   Fees charged by Canadian banks for non-client use of ATM's (cash
        withdrawals) are the highest in the world. (xxx)

    -   Provincially, Quebecers pay lower service fees than the rest of
        Canada, while Albertans pay the highest fees. Residents of
        Yellowknife pay the highest banking fees among the cities surveyed.
        (*)
    

    Aceto continued, "We feel it's our duty to draw attention to bank fees
and service charges so that Canadians are empowered with information that
could help them save more money. We realize that not every fee is unfair and
we are encouraging Canadians to determine for themselves the fairness of the
fees they pay and how these fees could be impacting their savings nest eggs."

    
    (*)Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Household Spending, 2007,
    Catalogue no. 62F0026M, no. 1, December 2008

    (xx)Source: 2008 World Retail Banking Report, Capgemini, ING Group and
    Efma

    (xxx) Source: 2009 World Retail Banking Report, Capgemini, UniCredit and
    Efma
    

    About ING DIRECT Canada

    ING DIRECT is Canada's largest direct bank with over 1.6 million Clients
and more than $24 billion in total assets. ING DIRECT gives the power of
saving to all Canadians by offering high-value, simple products such as high
interest savings accounts with no fees or service charges and low rates on
mortgages. Low cost, index-based mutual funds are sold through ING DIRECT
Funds Limited. ING DIRECT has been operating in Canada since 1997, and since
that time Clients have earned more than $3 billion in interest. Clients can
bank with ING DIRECT 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at www.ingdirect.ca or by
calling 1-800 ING DIRECT.

    About ING DIRECT Funds Limited

    Mutual funds are offered by ING DIRECT Funds Limited, a wholly-owned
subsidiary of ING Bank of Canada. ING DIRECT Funds Limited offers mutual funds
across Canada except in Quebec and the Territories.

    About ING DIRECT Asset Management Limited

    ING DIRECT Asset Management Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of ING
DIRECT, is the manager of the ING DIRECT Streetwise Funds.





For further information:

For further information: To arrange an interview or for more
information, please contact: Lisa Naccarato, ING DIRECT, Office: (416)
758-5072, Mobile: (416) 885-0348, lnaccarato@ingdirect.ca


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