In 2008, Komerční banka cut the prices of certain service packages; since the beginning of 2009 it has been offering free-of-charge withdrawals from KB ATMs starting from the basic embossed cards. "Support for card transactions, which is demanded by clients so much, is also the pivotal idea of this year's summer wave of changes in pricing," discloses Jozef Ryšavý, head of marketing planning and price control.

At the very beginning of the summer holidays KB will therefore offer one free withdrawal per month from an ATM abroad to owners of the G2 nadstandard student accounts and for holders of embossed credit cards. The free withdrawal applies to any ATM abroad, i.e., it is not limited to the Société Générale Group's ATMs only. "Going on a summer holiday, it is enough to just take along a KB credit card, which will help you make free-of-charge and convenient payments in shops and, in the case of need, offer free access to cash," adds Jozef Ryšavý.

For students, this innovation means that the KB offer has been made more attractive again; since the summer of 2008, students owning a G2 package have had all incoming transactions for free, and those with the above-standard version of the package have had all withdrawals from KB ATMs free of charge since the beginning of this year. The use of payment cards is now also more accessible outside the Czech Republic.

KB is also abolishing the fee for the cash back service - cash withdrawal when shopping at a retailer - both for debit and credit cards. Thanks to this innovation, card payments at retailers are becoming the most practical and unrivalled way of payment card use. At a single point, the client can do the shopping, pay for it, and also obtain the required cash without the need to look for an ATM. The payment card transactions are completely free of charge in such cases.

There are also changes in lending transactions. Because of the costs incurred in the administrative work related to delays in repayment, KB has unified the charges for reminders that it sends upon defaults on instalments. The charge for the first reminder is a symbolic CZK 20 and it advises the client that he has not paid an instalment on time; the sending of the second reminder fully reflects the cost of the demanding administrative work and CZK 500 will be billed for it. These charges are the same for consumer and business loans and overdrafts.

Komerční banka is also reflecting the cost intensity of work with cash in the fees for bureau de change operations. Newly, the sale and purchase of a foreign currency will be subject to a uniform charge of 2.5%, but at least CZK 50. Again, payment card payments directly at retailers, which are completely free of charge, are the most convenient and the most cost effective option for clients when they travel to other countries.

"The current changes in fees follow KB's pricing strategy. We want to respond to the clients' needs and offer attractive prices wherever clients will appreciate this. On the other hand, the current market environment is becoming increasingly challenging, particularly in the area of financing where we reflect the real costs incurred in the bank's services in the fees for our services," concludes Jozef Ryšavý.

In addition to changes in fees, on 1 July 2009 Komerční banka will migrate to a new telephone platform. From that date all of Komerční banka's telephone numbers will start with 9555 irrespective of the locality. In this connection, the telephone number of the Expresní linka phone banking service and the applicable rates will also be changed. The new telephone number to access Expresní linka will be 955 559 559. All functions offered by Expresní linka and the access passwords will be preserved. Calling the new number will no longer be calling a green number; the operator will bill this connection as a call to a normal land line, including the option to use free minutes as per the tariff.

Komerční banka is one of the best run universal banks in Central Europe. It provides comprehensive services to clients in the areas of retail, corporate, and investment banking. The Komerční banka Group's 8,930 employees serve 1,632,000 clients, who can use an extensive network of 397 points of sale throughout the country. Komerční banka currently operates 679 ATMs and more than 958,000 of its clients use one of direct banking channels.

Komerční banka is part of the Société Générale Group, one of the largest banking groups in the euro zone (in terms of market capitalisation), whose 163,000 employees serve more than 30 million individual clients worldwide.