You Want to Charge Me What?!
Bank of America beat a hasty retreat on its proposed debit card fee (a four-day turnaround from announcement to withdrawal), but consumers should not let down their guard or stop their protests. According to a report by Blake Ellis, these financial institutions will simply turn to other, less overt ways to increase their profits.
For instance, most consumers currently pay fees such as ATM fees if they make a withdrawal from a non-member bank or fail to meet minimum account balances on non-interest checking accounts. However, if they are not diligent in checking their bank statements, they may not notice the sharp increase in these rates. For instance, the average ATM fee for a non-member bank is up to $2.40, failure to meet minimum balances is at $4.37 and overdraft fees are at a whopping $30.83.
To add insult to injury, take a look at how one bank is bumping other “typical" fees:
TD Bank Fees
- Excessive withdrawal fee - $9 (new fee)
- Receive a wire transfer - $10 (old fee) vs. $15 (increased fee)
- Certified check - $4 (old fee) vs. $8 (increased fee)
- Money orders - $4 (old fee) vs. $5 (increased fee)
- Stop payment - $25 (old fee) vs. $30 (increased fee)
I don't know about you, but I'd yank my money out of TD Bank so fast, they wouldn't have time to try to dream up a fee to charge me for the withdrawal. My bank wouldn't think of charging me for common transactions such as getting certified checks or money orders, and they know if they try to charge a stop payment fee, my husband will be there in 10 minutes ready to sign all the papers to close his account of 30 years.
Now, they did try to charge me a fee once upon a time, but he just marched down to the bank and reminded them of what good customers we are, and bingo! The fee disappeared and the apologies were profuse. This is consumer oriented banking as it should be done.