Us Against The Numbers –> -3.7% interest, 50 sen on ATM, RM1.00 per month


-3.7% on interest per year. 50 sen on every 5th ATM transaction. RM1.00 per month subscription fee.

What’s going on? To accept the fact that it is YOUR bank who gives you 0.3% in interest per year on your savings balance is catastrophic enough. I wonder why they call it a ‘Savings’ account when your hard-earned money is actually eroding gradually due to inflation each year, which in case you weren’t aware – a number that hovers around 4%. Each year. Bloody hell. And if you could cough out RM1,000 for a fixed deposit, you’d reduce the damage of capital erossion due to inflation to about 1%. But still its 1% against you. Not in favour of.


Not only do they throw in a paltry 0.3% interest in your savings, they also (bloody hell) charge your for ATM withdrawals. 50 sen for every 5 transactions. Why is that? Imagine this, your home bank, nothing to do with MEPS or withdrawal through a common interbank network.

To top it all off, they will be introducing a ‘subscription fee’ effective 20 December 2004. A subscription fee? For what?

“Since the launch of in June 2000, we have provided a wide range of services to enable you to enjoy security and convenience in online banking. Our goal is that you, as a valued customer, will always receive quality products and services. This access to has been made available to you on a complimentary basis. “

In this day and age, I would assume that online banking IS part and parcel of banking service, complementing existing conventional banking. Not an ‘optional’ feature. And definitely not an extra. Especially not a paid, subscription-based one. That’s dispicable. Shameful almost. Is this how you repay your so-called ‘valued customer’? The billions you make each year from your customers still warrants charging them for ‘infrastructure’?

“Should you choose not to subscribe to, you can alternatively use our other delivery channels, such as our Kawanku ATMs, Kawanku Phone Banking or visit our branches for your banking and bill payment transactions. However, we trust that you would continue to use for a nominal fee to enjoy the many services and time-saving conveniences available.”

Wow, thanks for the choice, buddy. And also thanks for telling your customers. There was no official announcement to your customers via mail, email, phone, or whatever channel left to not be chargeable, about the subscription fee except through Was fortunate that a friend had highlighted it to me, for I would have missed it otherwise.

Talking about banks – I was at Citibank to help a friend pay for his credit card bill. When he dropped me off at the Citibank branch on Jalan Ampang I was shocked to see the amount of people queueing to make payment at the Cash Deposit machines. So this is how ‘convenient’ modern day banking is huh? How about giving customers you so aggresively give credit cards to better service? More machines? More branches? It took me 30 minutes before it was my turn. Plus no air-conditioning. Great. 100 inpatient, annoyed and sweaty people, in very long lines. Really nice. And some slow-pokes who either don’t read very well or are virgin ATM users. I am so glad I am not a Citibank customer. Really. I am.

So my dear friends, how is YOUR bank treating ya?


By Vernon

Vernon is the founder and chief editor of A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.

One reply on “Us Against The Numbers –> -3.7% interest, 50 sen on ATM, RM1.00 per month”

Dear Vernon,

Now this is a great topic you have started. You won’t believe it but just last night I was thinking about the same thing. Whats with the local banks here in Malaysia. Why do they charge so much for a service and the best part is, we are their customers and without us, they are NOTHING. Yet they treat us, the customer with so much vile and disrespect. Let me talk about my gripe. I have many so I hope it all comes out in an orderly fashion as my brain is already on page for with my complaints but my fingers are a bottle-neck for speed.

Note: Bear with me cause I will from time to time compare my banking days in UK with the one I have here in Malaysia.

Yesterday I took my wife to maybank (hmm… funny how this name pops up) finance to pay her car loan. We were in Batu Pahat and figured rather than make a late payment if we were to get back to KL, better do it were we are. Information for the inquisitive person. Car bought in KL on loan with maybank in KL. We live in JB but currently I am working in Batu Pahat for a few months. So we tend to make payment either in JB or batu pahat.

The lady at the counter pointed out that every time my wife has paid out station, there has been a $0.50 cent charge. Since she has done this about 14 times in the last 20 payments, we have a $7 extra on the loan to settle and its subject to the 3 point whatever percent the loan charges. NICE ONE MAYBANK. What you are actually saying is that despite all those computer upgrading/use and kicking out people from jobs, despite all that bull shit given that computers will make banking more efficient and cost effective, I am still charge $0.50 for an outstation payment. WHY?

In UK I had a Barclays account opened in Canterbury when I first stepped foot in UK. Hmm I think it was way back in 1987. I remained in KL till 2001 and I still run the same account despite having moved about in UK. I could bank a cheque, cash, withdraw money from ANY branch and I would never be charged extra. Even if I was in Scotland. I could still enjoy the benefits of banking at any Barclays branch. After all, isn’t that what “SERVICE” is all about?

Now here in Malaysia, I am shocked that in this day and age and all the cow dung about Malaysia having a super corridor highway for IT, we still use post laju I guess for outstations transactions. That’s why there is the $0.50 cent charge. Someone has to lick the stamp, the envelope and one outrider to go post the documents. Then on the other side, someone to collect the letter, then open it, read it and type its contents into the computer I guess. Maybank has never heard of emails I suppose and electronic data.

So this already pissed me off badly as I was driving back and my wife telling me how we have been ‘shafted’ from behind by the bank. Got me thinking, what else am I paying these greedy banks for?

ATM. Yes what was once free and a convenience to use, I now pay 0.50 cent after 5 uses per month. Tell me, how many of you readers limit your ATM use to once a week? Damn, I don’t. I use it like 5 times a week. First off, I don’t like carrying lots of money for its uncool to have a fat bulging wallet shoved up my backside (pants pocket ok). Also if I do get robbed by some bastard who won’t get a job and stop taking drugs, at least I know he will only get one shot from my hard earned cash and nothing more. So I do my civic duty and carry less money. Oh also I am not paid enough according to inflation. I think I earn the same as my dad did some 30 years ago as an engineer but since then, cost of living has gone up by 30×4% while my salary has remained. That’s another topic.

What maybank has done along with other banks is make you get used to their convienient upgrades and when you are so used to it, put a charge on it. Why not tell customers up front, we will charge $0.50 for every use after 5 times for the ATM way back when they introduced ATM machine? I bet no one would have bothered to use it. But at the time they would have said that ATM will ease waiting times, etc and like the suckers we Malaysians are, we bought into their con so easily. We all took it with open hearts only to be slapped by the bank on our face years on with a charge. NICE ONE BANKs.

And I also opened an RHB account cause my company uses this bank. Over there at RHB, they told me I have to pay $8 buck for their stupid card BUT I won’t be charged to use it extra, ie unlimited use. SORRY but its not unlimited cause come next year, I bet they will charge me another 8 bucks. Whats the big deal. I think we all should stop using these cars, cut it in half and post it back to the banks. Tell them from now on, we will walk into the bank can do our transactions and if there is a backlog and long waiting, too bad,… go hire more staff and open more counters. Take those stupid ATM machines out and put a person there cause I have had ENOUGH of bending over.

Third. What about Citibank and the long queue at Ampang. Unlike Vernon, I also have an account at Citibank and credit card. Needless to say, I have to use those ATM machines and the cash machines often. Not like there is a Citibank at every town is there? And yes I have to put up with the long queues. When will they increase the number of machines more by ten fold. To make it worse, there is no free parking at the ampang branch. Not only do we have to stand in long queues, sweating in the heat and getting irritated with the guy infront who can’t seem to read and get on with his transaction, we have to PAY again at the hotel car park or park illegally outside by the roads and face a fine if its our bad luck. But does Citibank care? Isn’t that building built by Citibank? Why did they not think of the customer and give the customer some ‘service’.

Going back to my UK experience, I could easily do about 3 to 4 transactions in any bank during my lunch break. I would get something to eat and while walking back to work, if I needed to do some banking, I could just walk in and even if there was queue, perhaps by 10 mins I would be at the counter, and preparing to walk out. Yes, it was never the long wait for any thing. Compare that with my experience here at a maybank some time bank.

My friend wanted to transfer some money so we rushed to a branch during our break. Break time was only for an hour. By the time we got some parking and walked to the bank, time was ticking away. Wasted time cause there never is any convenient parking near a bank these days. We took out number and it wasn’t that far off. But we still ended up waiting and waiting cause the teller took ages to get through the customers. To make matters worse, one teller was just sitting behind the desk doing nothing but looking about and talking to his colleagues by the side… thus making them work even slower. To our amazement just as we thought we would be called by the only other 2 workers there, Mr. I’ll sit and do nothing called my friends number. What the hell was he doing there all this time then? If only we are all paid to sit and do nothing, wouldn’t that be great? Some people are lucky. Maybe this is why Maybank charges us a lot cause they have inefficient methods and staff? Who knows!

And now you say they are charging for maybank2U? Please tell me if I can cancel this subscription. I don’t want to be paying them more than I already have to. Imagine all this, pay for using ATM, pay for using an outstation branch, pay for Online services. This stinks.

To make it worse, we only have to look at the interest rates. Like you said, what is the point of a saving account with so low interest rate? Put $1000 in the bank and after 10 years you would have more but the buying power due to inflation at 4% would mean we have less. That’s a given fact. Why can’t we have the guarantees that ASB pays out? After all the way I look at is, these banks are suppose to be the smart ones in the financing world.

When our car is spoilt we take it to the garage mechanic and get it fixed. He does his part and we pay him and merrily drive off knowing we got our service worth and job satisfaction. Lets look at the bank. They are the experts to make us money. So we go to them and say, look here, I will invest MY money with you. Make me more so that when Xmas comes, I can buy my expensive gifts and when I am old, I can continue to buy myself expensive gifts. For that, I will pay you a service charge. NO problem however, the truth be told, they take our money and at the end, give us less. Funny ah? How come we allow that? They know inflation rate better than anyone one of us, yet they tell you the savings account pays 3%. They know the risks of share dealings and the stock market but they tell you that any money you invest in their funds or stocks are not guaranteed. If that’s the case, why don’t we all do our own buying and selling of shares like in the USA via Ameritrade etc. Why do we need some fool called an agent who works for the bank to take a percentage even if the shares we bought turns out to be an absolute bomb? What kind of advice is that? Where is the expertise? Looks like there is none. Whats so smart about that huh?

Then there are the credit cards these bank shove on us. Just last night I got a call from a Citibank rep saying that they have given me a new Mastercard and if I would like to activate it. Hang on, I never asked for one in the first place. Yet the rep told me that I was one of a few chosen people as though that is going to sweeten things up. Since when have banks done anything for free I thought to myself.

The first year, the annual fee is waved. Then the following year, my existing Citibank Visa will enjoy a lower rate from $70 to $45, but the new master card will have an annual rate of $90. Right so if I work it out my way.

Currently I pay $70 per year. Year two, it will be $140 paid out. Year 3 it will be $210 paid in annual fees. With this new mastercard, year one, everything is free. Great! Year two, its $135, year 3 its $270. Wow, in actual fact, if we average it out, …. You guys know the deal. I am paying more. What even makes me laugh is, my current visa has a limit of 6k per month. Now, based on what I earn, after all the payments in loans for home and car, I don’t have $6k to spend on a visa. I don’t even have $5k. Wait, hell I can’t spend 4k on my credit card in shopping, dinning out, living in hotels etc. Why the FUCK would I want another credit card with another limit of $5000? Like I have $11,000 to spend a month? No way? One card is MORE THAN ENOUGH FOR ME. If I did use the one card to the max, I could not pay it off at the end of the month.. and then guess what, I end up paying over 18% in interest. Welcome to the legit Ah Long my friends.

When an Ah Long takes the house off someone that borrowed money from him, its an outcry. But when the banks take all your processions for not being able to pay up on credit used, that’s fine. Best joke of all, when the banks write you a letter for saying that you have not paid the monthly amount, they charge you for it. Why, if I can’t pay the monthly charge on the credit card, what makes you think I can pay for that lousy letter?

What about when the bank makes a mistake and you write an official letter to them saying that there is a problem, can we at the end say “ please credit my account with $10 for the administrative charge of this letter? Can we? On this note, I leave everyone reading this thread with this question…. What are banks really offering us in terms of service? Has all this modernization in the banking system been to OUR benefit?



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