Johannesburg - It was difficult to compare Nedbank Group [JSE:NED] fees to those of other banks because it tailored its accounts to suit clients, the bank said on Friday.
"We acknowledge the difficulty in conducting a fair year-on-year comparison of average monthly bank fees across a wide range of product offerings," it said in a statement.
It was responding to research on bank charges released by Solidarity on Thursday. The trade union found that four of the five large commercial banks in South Africa had lowered the cost of virtually all their accounts over the past year, with Nedbank as the only exception.
Said Nedbank: "However, each product offering has different qualification criteria and [is] tailored for the specific needs of a client segment."
Solidarity compared charges of personal bank accounts offered by Absa, FNB, Standard Bank, Nedbank, and Capitec.
Nedbank's cheapest option was its Savvy Electronic account, with average monthly charges more than double those of Capitec.
Nedbank had increased charges by 4.5% on this account, from R107.79 to R112.61 over the past year.
Nedbank's Anton de Wet said on Friday the account was not the bank's cheapest.
"We are confident that Nedbank Savvy offers great value for clients who do high volumes of mostly electronic transactions," he said.
"As part of our continuing journey, we are pleased to announce that the fees for other banks' ATM withdrawals will be reduced by R10 effective 1 January 2013, further enhancing the value of this offering."
He said the bank had, for the past seven years, been simplifying products and lowering fees.
"We actively help clients to reduce their fees by selecting the right product to suit their needs through full needs-analysis selling, providing free on-line saving tools and a pricing call centre."
The bank's cheapest "transactional account" was the Ke Yona account.