The cost of current accounts offered by Italian banks are the most expensive of 130 financial institutions in 19 countries, says a report. The study, World Retail Banking, carried out by Capgemini, EFMA and Dutch bank ING, reveals that, on average, Italians spend 252 each year on fees for bank transfers, cashing cheques and other charges compared to the survey average of 108 per year. The only other countries surveyed to exceed the average were Germany (223), Switzerland (159), Norway (131) and the United States (126). However, the study, ordered by European internal market commissioner Charles McCreevy, has been criticised by the Associazione delle banche italiana for failing to take account of the peculiarities of banking in national markets. For instance, despite the headline rates, Italians pay much less on a per capita basis, about 108 per year, if jointly held accounts, particularly of married couples, are factored into the equation.