Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Wells Fargo raises fees on 'Value Checking' account

Here's some news that might upset some Wells Fargo customers.

The bank is increasing the monthly fee on its "Value Checking" account, as much as doubling it for some customers, a move the San Francisco-based lender said will make the fee the same across its customer base.

Wells Fargo said all customers who have a "Value Checking" account, one of Wells Fargo's basic checking accounts, will be charged $10 a month starting in April.

The impact of the increase will be bigger for some customers than others. Some customers have been paying $5, while others have been paying $7 or $9.

The fourth-largest U.S. bank said the change is part of its normal efforts to streamline and simplify older types of accounts and create consistency across the markets in which it does business. Until now, the monthly fees for Value Checking customers have varied depending on where they lived and when they opened their accounts, the bank said.

The change will have little impact in North Carolina, where there are a small number of Value Checking accounts, spokeswoman Richele Messick said. The company does not disclose its numbers of customers by account, she said.

The fee increase comes at a time when banks are under pressure by investors to boost their profitability. Wells Fargo reported earning $5.38 billion for common shareholders in the fourth quarter, up less than 1 percent from a year earlier.

The higher fee also comes after Wells Fargo, in October, began allowing customers to have more real-time information on their accounts, a change that has resulted in less overdraft-fee income for the bank. A drop in overdraft fees cost the bank $70 million in income during the fourth quarter compared with the third, according to a securities filing.

As it raises the fee, Wells Fargo also says it is giving Value Checking customers additional ways to have the fee waived. For example, the fee will now be waived if a customer makes 10 purchases or 10 payments a month with a Wells Fargo debit card.

Also, customers ages 17 to 24 will automatically be given a $5 discount on the fee each month.

Messick said the fee change will not affect the "vast majority" of Value Checking customers, who will now be converted to Wells Fargo's "Everyday Checking" account. Also, many customers already don't end up paying the monthly fee, because they meet requirements to get it waived, she said.

A look at other changes that will affect Value Checking customers:
  • Customers can waive the monthly fee if they maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500. In the past, customers were required to maintain an average daily balance of $1,500 to have the fee waived.
  • The fee can also be waived if the direct deposits made into the account total $500 or more a month. That's a change from a requirement that a single direct deposit of at least $250 be made a month.


jay1937 said...

The Banks would be in a lot better shape had the current administration quits trying to take over the Banking Industry and, in the recent past, not allow Barny Frank and Chris Dodd to open their mouths about anything. Also, the paying of millions of dollars to CEO's of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac cost the banks and taxpayers a great deal of money. I guess the way to live high on the hog is to go to work for the government!

Anonymous said...

Had the government not bailed out these banks after their own irresponsible behavior, we'd still be in a depression.

NotaRobot said...

Anon@7:12AM - It's clear that you have not bothered to read and understand the root causes for the bank crisis and recession. Your tired old Fox News lies are embarrassing you.

Anonymous said...

And of course, it's convenient for folks to leave out the fact that the government made a substantial profit on the stock warrants and interest payments it got from the banks during TARP - but of course that isn't part of the populist narrative so it's a fact conveniently left out of the discussion.

Unknown said...

Wow just charge with the lest amount an extortion fee to keep their merger dollars in your bank, so Wells can pay executives millions and pay the rich with lots of money higher interest so they get richer.

Anonymous said...

What gets me is that people still think that a bank should provide their services for free. Do these same people also believe that 7-11 should give them free coffee, dry cleaners should not charge for cleaning, or that the lawn guy should mow their yard out of the goodness of his heart. Banks are a business like any other and provide a service that is not free to them. If folks don't want to pay for this service, then they can cash their paychecks at Wal-Mart and get money orders their to pay bills. Oh wait, that is not free either.

The Freeholder said...

Yes indeed, Wells Fargo is a wonderfully appropriate successor to good old "Walk All Over Ya".

Folks, do yourselves a big favor. Leaves the banks and find a credit union you can join. Banks, like lotteries, are for people who can't do math.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I do expect them to offer services for "free." It is not free, they get to use my money for free. I keep money in the bank and they use that money to invest and make more money. So, free checking is not too much to ask.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:32 - Do you understand the first thing about business? So they use "your" money. First of all I bet that is a huge amount and secondly, even if it is a couple million the interest rate is so low they don't earn much on it. Banks provide infrastructure, support services, etc. that all cost money. That is why they have fees. People think banks, hospitals, utilities, etc are charities instead of businesses.

BTW, you should be looking at investment options that earn more income than is possible in a checking or savings account in the first place, secondly there are many options to avoid bank fees (minimum amounts, direct deposit, investment relationships, etc) and if you really think they are minting money then own stock in them as I do.

Reminds me when people whine about gas prices and have no idea they could purchase oil futures or stock in the oil companies to profit much more than the small amount they pay extra in gas. SMH

Anonymous said...

I can't wait until google, apple, and Microsoft provide banking services for free. All these old guard banks are going to be crying to their customers and begging for forgiveness for their stupid decisions to charge for debit cards or checking accounts. Its going to be a hilarious time... Its going to happen after PayPal gets acquired by one of the mentioned companies after getting spun off.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:50: Before you get too snarky, don't forget that Wells Fargo made $5.7 BILLION with our money last year. That's quite a lot of your "infrastructure, support services, etc. that all cost money."

Try again.

Anonymous said...

I'm neither blasting nor condoning bank fees. Just pointing out a few things. How much money do you think it takes to keep everyone's account in sync pretty much to the penny, allowing universal, 24/7 access to your funds across so many various mediums, phone, online, ATM, in person, etc in addition to the payments that occur via billpay, credit card, checks, ACH, what have you. Follow that thought up with a request to please take a look at your cellphone bill at the add-ons, taxes, etc. These add-ons, taxes that are added to your cell, water, power, what have you bill, are done without any debate or vote or anything. Nothing like that exists for banks. Banks can't don't ask for add-ons, taxes, fees from gov't. They don't They use usage fees, monthly account fees, etc. So if you compare your cable and cell to your bank, you might just conclude you're getting a pretty good deal with having your money and payments managed in such a precise fashion.