On May 2, Shinsei Bank announced that starting from October it will impose fees for automatic teller machine (ATM) transactions. Shinsei's main sales point has always been its lack of ATM fees, but the bank will start charging ¥108 per ATM withdrawal unless the customer's account satisfies certain conditions.

According to the May 24 issue of the weekly magazine Sunday Mainichi, Shinsei had about 3.14 million customers as of the end of March, and the bank estimates fees will be levied on about a third of them. The bank also assumes a good many customers will move their money to a different bank once the planned fee policy goes into effect.

Shinsei Bank does not maintain ATMs of its own. Shinsei customers who wish to withdraw or deposit money in their accounts through ATMs have to access other companies' machines, which means that, at present, Shinsei pays user fees to these other companies and does not pass that fee on to its customers. Shinsei says it will waive the new fees for customers who maintain accounts with a certain minimum balance. It is also introducing a prepaid card system, and if a customer keeps the card charged with a certain amount of money, the customer will not have to pay any ATM fees.