Escalating Checking Account Fees
Despite many claims about “free checking,” the truth is that most checking accounts cost consumers dearly. And those checking-related fees may rise as banks look to make up lost revenues.
Already, the average banking account customer who doesn’t meet minimum balance requirements pays an average of $5 to $12 per month for a checking account, according to a September 2010 research report from JP Morgan Chase.
Moreover, all the top 10 U.S. banks charge non-sufficient funds fees that range from $19 to $37 per occurrence. “To replace lost maintenance fees, banks have increasingly turned to punitive fees (e.g., NSF, extended overdraft, stop fees, etc.),” Chase researchers wrote.
So it’s not far-fetched to think that this trend could be magnified in the future.
In the meantime, however, the fact that BofA, Wells Fargo, Chase and other banks have abandoned their plans for debit fees “should give us hope as consumers for what we can accomplish if we work together,” says Arnold. “This is a great victory and it demonstrates that we can fight back against big banks.”
“Ask The Money Coach” is a syndicated column written by personal finance expert Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, co-founder of the free financial advice blog, AskTheMoneyCoach.com. Follow Lynnette on Twitter at @themoneycoach.