A Sea of Fees–Bank Fees are Hitting All-time Highs

by tom 29. September 2011 17:48

In an effort to recoup profits in the current economic downturn, banks are continuing to raise fees across the board. This from the New York Times yesterday:

“Average fees for withdrawals from out-of-network automatic teller machines, as well as fees for bounced checks, have hit new highs, according to a newly released study from Bankrate.com. The average fee that banks charge noncustomers for using their ATMs is now $2.40, up 3 percent from last year. The average bounced check fee, meanwhile, is now $30.83, a record. Banks are also slowly abandoning free checking accounts, although fees can still be avoided by arranging for direct deposit or keeping a minimum balance in the account. For non-interest-bearing accounts, the average monthly fee is $4.37, up from $2.49 last year, and the balance needed to avoid it averages $585, more than double the $249 balance from a year ago. For interest-bearing accounts, the average fee jumped to $14.15 from $13.04 last year. The balance needed to avoid the fee rose to $5,587, from $3,883.”BofA_atms

This was followed by today’s news that Bank of America will start imposing a $5 monthly ATM fee starting next month. This on top of news we reported here earlier that Wells Fargo is going to start experimenting with $3 ATM fees.

“Paying to use a debit card was unheard of before this year and is still a novel concept for many consumers. But several banks have recently introduced or started testing debit card fees. That's in addition to the spate of other unwelcome changes checking account customers have seen in the past year.”

The competitive landscape in banking is changing with the times, and Market Rates Insight’s research will continue to change as well to keep track of the latest trends.

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