Friday, August 24, 2012

BB&T, Yadkin Valley reviewing FDIC-opposed fee

BB&T and Elkin-based Yadkin Valley Financial are reviewing a fee they charge commercial customers that the FDIC says is improper.

A McClatchy investigation found that hundreds of banks across the country are charging so-called "FDIC assessments" or "FDIC fees," which are meant to offset the bank's cost of insurance payments. But the FDIC warned banks in July to not use the regulator's name in fees, since it gives the impression that the FDIC requires it.

BB&T, based in Winston-Salem and with the third-largest market share in Charlotte, has long charged an FDIC fee equal to about 13 cents on each $1,000 in a business checking account.

"For us and other banks this fee is not new. Many banks have charged it for years to cover the expenses of managing and servicing business accounts," BB&T spokeswoman Merrie Tolbert said in an email. "Clients always have been fully aware of these fees and BB&T has never stated that it was required by the FDIC."

The bank is, though, changing the name of the fee to a "Deposit Account Assessment Fee" effective Sept. 1.

Yadkin Valley, which operates the American Community Bank in Charlotte, charges a 10 cent per $1,000 FDIC fee. Spokeswoman Jill Sutphin said in an email that Yadkin knows about the FDIC's opposition and is reviewing its fee structure.

"We expect this matter to be resolved by no later than the end of the third quarter," she said.