The president of the Cyprus Consumers Association on Sunday called on the government to step in after, he said, Hellenic Bank announced a raft of new charges beginning in January , which he said would inevitably also be imposed by other banks.

In an announcement, Marios Drousiotis pointed out that at the beginning of November 2019, “when the same scenario was observed”, there were public statements from all political parties strongly expressing their opposition.

“Today, at least one banking institution continues to increase its fees without seeming to take into account the recent significant increases in lending rates and the extremely difficult financial conditions that a large part of the population is going through,” Drousiotis said.

Looking at one bank, he said that as of January 2, 2023 there would be a fee of €3.00 per deposit for cash deposits and cashier’s checks, which are now without charge.

To open or modify a standing order, customers would be charged €5.00 if done through telebanking, €10.00 at the cash desk, and only free through online banking. There will be fee increases for businesses as well, he said.

Drousiotis said he was being forced to repeat “over and over again” that the state must stop considering banks as “sacred cows” that need protection.

“The public also needs protection. They can’t take it anymore,” he said.