In response to new regulations, banks are carefully guarding one of their most reliable profit streams: the fees they charge customers for basic banking services. And this may mean a wave of new penalties and fees for consumers, the Wall Street Journal reports.
As rules under last summer's Dodd-Frank financial reform begin to take shape, banks fear for their card businesses, the Wall Street Journal notes. Banks are considering a new set of debit card fees, in addition to fees on checking accounts. From the WSJ, a partial list:
- Annual fees of up to $30 for people with debit cards.
- Increased ATM fees for non-customers who withdraw money from a bank.
- Penalty fees on checking accounts, imposed if customers fail to maintain a certain balance, or fail to meet a monthly direct deposit minimum. Chase already imposes such fees. Customers of the former Washington Mutual, now owned by JPMorgan Chase, will see these fees next month.
"If you bring us more business, you will get rewarded with better pricing," BofA spokesperson Robert Stickler told the WSJ. The bank has estimated that Dodd-Frank could cost it 80 percent of its debit card revenue, Bloomberg reported.
Consumers already have sufficient cause to resent the nation's big banks. As foreclosed properties cripple the housing market, lenders continue to be mired in a controversy of allegedly botched or faked mortgage documents. Among the biggest mortgage companies, Bank of America has the worst record, with just 21 percent of its eligible borrowers granted permanent mortgage modifications.
Have you been hit with new bank fees in the last year or so?