Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Banking fees on the rise

Checking account and other banking fees have risen in the first six months of the year, according to a semi-annual survey from

The average amount required to open an account rose 4 percent to $408.76. Consumer advocates look at a rising minimum opening balance as a sign more people will be unable to access traditional bank services.

Average monthly service fees rose 7 percent, to $12.08.

The average amount required to avoid the monthly fee rose 24 percent, to $4,446.57.

Overdraft fees rose slightly, the percent of free checking fell and ATM fees rose.

"Previous surveys have tended to show more of a mixed bag, with some fees rising and others falling," MoneyRates senior financial analyst Richard Barrington wrote. "But the latest survey shows a comprehensive trend toward checking accounts becoming more expensive."

The survey takes the average of fees charged at the 50 largest U.S. banks and a similar number of smaller banks.

Large banks have been under increasing pressure to raise their fees after new financial regulations have crimped revenue, including a cap on debit card transaction fees and tighter restrictions on overdraft fees.


John said...

So gee, the fees went up exactly as most financial experts said they would when government started all the new regulations. Big surprise... increased cost = increased prices... just like Economics 101 taught.

In case you haven't noticed, the more government does, the more it costs us.

Anonymous said...

When you stand naked before Saint Peter on judgement day, and judgement day is coming, it ain't the size of your wallet for which you will be judged.

J said...

This is a classic case of 1) Consequences of bigger government and 2) typical politics of blaming the wrong thing on the wrong people.

We got in this mess because banks lent money to every primate that could stand on 2 legs, because "if we don't do it, someone else will," then the banks sold the loans in transactions so complex even the bankers couldn't understand or explain them, then the banks gave big bonuses to the people who invented these goofy transactions. So here comes the government - who will gleefully tell you that every dollar a person or company earns belongs to the government, and it is the government who will decide how much of that money you will be allowed to take home with you - and the government decides that banks and all their employees make too much money, a grevious evil, and the wonderful government will correct this evil by putting restrictions on how much revenue the evil banks can accumulate. So they put a limit on revenue from credit card swipes. Only a government idiot could conclude this was the way to fix things.

So the banks turn to other ways to make money. Although the government will tell you that the only reason businesses should be in business is to give people jobs, the fact remains that all businesses are in business to make money. And that is how it should be.

And to make sure the pro-government bias remains loud and clear, nothing is mentioned here about ways to avoid fees other than higher account balances. Many regular accounts held by middle-class people need only a direct deposit and use of ATMs instead of tellers to avoid the service charge. But no, we can't report that. We can only report the higher minimum balance requirement, as that will make the banks look more evil and hopefully convince more citizens to vote for people who want government to control every minute of our lives.

Well done, Comrades.

Anonymous said...

More chicken little reporting. Listen I don't pay any bank fees and haven't in decades..and I'm just a working guy. You can go right down here to the credit union and open an account for 25.00. Several banks in my area offer an array of banking choices with no fees. Stop the fear-mongering. A wise consumer can do just fine in today's banking system.

Anonymous said...

"The average amount required to open an account rose 4 percent to $408.76. Consumer advocates look at a rising minimum opening balance as a sign more people will be unable to access traditional bank services."

Look if you don't have 400 bucks keep your scratch paper in your sock or your bra. you don't need a bank account. Next.

Anonymous said...

This article is lacking depth and analysis to the point that I wonder why it was ever posted.

There is no reference to the survey that the numbers cited refer to checking accounts. And there is no in-depth reporting from the CO regarding requirements for opening a checking account in various regional banks.

Shame on the Observer for posting a stupid, inane story with no context whatsoever.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

I have a savings account, four checking accounts with debit cards, overdraft protection and a Visa card, all with no fees whatsoever. I bank with my local credit union.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Rattus, there isnt a credit union that has absolutely NO fees at all on checking and /or savings accounts.