Thursday, April 26, 2012

Banks seek high fees from low-income customers

Welcome to the morning roundup. Here's a look at today's banking and finance headlines.

Bank fees. More big banks, including Wells Fargo & Co., are targeting low-income customers with offers for products that can carry high fees, such as prepaid debit cards and check-cashing options, the New York Times reports. Banks say they can offer the products at competitive prices; some regulators and consumer advocates worry banks are just pushing them for the fees.

Ally earnings. Ally Financial Inc., the government-owned lender with a presence in Charlotte, posted a $310 million profit in the first quarter on solid auto-financing results and improving mortgage operations, the Wall Street Journal reports. That's up from a loss in the fourth quarter.

Euro trouble. The European crisis is weighing on earnings at some of Europe's top banks, Reuters writes. Spanish bank Santander, for instance, said first-quarter profits fell by nearly a quarter after it set aside more than $4 billion to cover rising loan defaults.

Stocks fall. Markets are down this morning as jobless claims edged higher than forecast and big companies' earnings missed analysts' estimates, Bloomberg reports.