As we head into 2012, it’s out with the old, in with the new. And that goes for bank fees, too. After Bank of America’s $5 a month debit card fee blew up in the bank’s face this fall, you would think that nobody would take a chance on adding additional bank fees. But that’s not the case, according to Huffington Post.
Not only are bigger minimums in checking accounts likely to be required, but Huffington Post says that overdraft fees could go up from an average of $35 to an eye-popping $40. In addition, it is expected that basic monthly checking account fees could increase from a $12 to a $15 monthly average.
The Dodd-Frank Act, of course, is the bank’s excuse for raising the rates. (Wonder if Verizon will use Dodd-Frank as the phone company’s excuse for imposing a $2 monthly fee for people to pay their bills online!)
And given that consumers are fed up with fees in general, particularly by banks, they may walk with their feet and find other banks. For example, there are plenty of options, including community banks, credit unions, and online banking options that customers can check into, where they won’t be hit with such exorbitant charges.
Of course, some banks complain that they’re not making much money these days, which is why they need to raise the fees. Another option banks have been pushing is bundling, where you have checking, savings, and credit cards with them. “It is a way to create more of an ongoing banking relationship,” Doug Miller, analyst for Corporate Insight, notes. “They want all your basic deposit accounts.”
And bundling also has the added benefit of making it more complicated to quit the bank in a huff over yet another ridiculous fee. Sneaky!
Lisa Swan is a Feature Writer for the Compliance Exchange. She is also a columnist for The Faster Times and a blogger for Subway Squawkers. Her work has also appeared in the New York Daily News, Yahoo Sports, Huffington Post and the books Graphical Player 2011 and Graphical Player 2010.