Canadians love to complain about bank service fees. Top of the list: overdraft charges, using another bank’s ABM, and monthly account fees.

But consumer groups and banks will tell you that many of these fees can be reduced or eliminated altogether, whether it’s a matter of changing your behaviour, choosing a different kind of account, or even choosing a different kind of bank. Personal service charges account for about five per cent of total bank revenue, according to the Canadian Bankers Association.

“I think fees are always at the top of everyone’s mind, especially when it comes to banking. It seems to be a lightning rod,” says Chris Barber, director of personal banking accounts at the Royal Bank of Canada.