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OCBC latest to raise late payment charge

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Local banks hiking various charges for credit cards

Banks have been raising various fees and charges on credit cards as pressure on profitability and greater competition come into play.

The latest hike came last Thursday when OCBC Bank raised the late payment charge for most credit cards from $80 to $100.

And the late payment fee for its NTUC Plus! Visa credit card was raised to $100 from $60 on the same day.

The bank last raised charges in January last year, when late payment fees rose from $60 to $80 for personal credit cards except Plus! Visa and NTUC Plus! Visa.

It told The Straits Times that the June 1 hikes "will ensure a uniform set of late payment charges across all OCBC's personal credit cards".

DBS Bank raised its fees on May 1. An outstanding balance of more than $50 on a card now incurs a late payment charge of $100, up from $80.

Annual fees for its POSB Everyday Card were also raised on May 1 - from $128.40 to $192.60 for the principal card and from $64.20 to $96.30 for each supplementary card.

Mr Vinod Nair, chief executive of personal finance portal MoneySmart, said a survey it conducted showed that those banks with the most popular credit cards - OCBC, Citibank and DBS-POSB - have some of the highest fees and interest rates.

"OCBC's latest decision to raise its late fee charge to $100 seems to be mirroring DBS or POSB raising the late fee charge to $100 last month," he said.

DBS said: "We advise customers to plan ahead to avoid incurring late payment charges, by setting up payment alerts or calendar reminders, or to set up services such as automatic Giro payments."

United Overseas Bank - which said last November that it had about 20 per cent market share in terms of card billings for the previous 12 months here - has kept its late payment charge at $60 for at least three years.

But its interest rate on outstanding balances was hiked to 25.9 per cent at the end of last year from 25 per cent in 2014, the previous time it raised the rate.