SECOND TAKE: FT'S LEX
THE LEX COLUMN: Making retail customers pay charges will not help banks
European lenders should rather tackle glaring structural inefficiencies
Like the best things in life, bank accounts are often free. In Europe, that pleasure could soon be denied. Interest rates are dropping ever deeper into negative territory. They will eventually have to be passed on to retail customers.
Banks are wise to hesitate. Charges for basic services will not revive their abysmal profitability. They could damage their business models too. Better for them to tackle glaring structural inefficiencies instead.