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Sampo to Waive Four Months' Worth of Service Charges

Sampo Bank announced on Wednesday that it would waive service charges for its customers for a four month period. The aim of the move is to placate customers who have suffered as a result of computer problems that have been plagueing its services in recent weeks.

A merger of the computer systems of Sampo and its new owner, the Danish Danske Bank, led to extensive glitches in Sampo's systems. Sampo's online services experienced failures, and the bank's debit cards also had problems.

In their frustration, many customers have changed banks. In an apparent peace offering to those who have stayed, Sampo announced on Wednesday that a number of service charges would be waived from June through September this year.

Online service charges are a maximum EUR 2.90 a month, while the service fee for a Sampo debit cards and Visa Electron cards issued by Sampo is EUR 0.50. Sampo says that customers will be automatically entitled to the benefits, and will not have to take any measures themselves for them to take effect.

In addition to the waiving of fees, Sampo has promised to pay separate compensation for monetary losses incurred from the failures. Losses that can be claimed include telephone and travel costs resulting from the malfunctions, extra service fees, and penalty interest stemming from late payment of bills. The bank has promised to process compensation applications as soon as possible.

The Finnish Consumer Agency has welcomed Sampo's offer of waiving service fees. The agency has concluded its discussions with Sampo on how to compensate customers for the computer problems.

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