Kiss Your Free Checking Account Goodbye

Banks raise fees to make up for lost overdraft bonanza
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2010 7:31 AM CDT
Updated Jun 20, 2010 7:34 AM CDT
In this Oct. 16, 2009 file photo, customers use ATMs at a Bank of America branch office, Friday, Oct 16, 2009 in Boston.   (AP Photo/Lisa Poole, file)
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(Newser) – The free checking account could soon be a thing of the past, as Bank of America and other banks introduce a pile of new fees, telling the Wall Street Journal that they need to replace revenue lost because of new regulatory rules protecting consumers from surprise overdraft fees. To avoid the checking account fees, you’ll have to maintain a high balance, or frequently use other services like debit cards or online accounts.

“If you put $1,000 in a checking account and don’t do anything with it, it will be hard to get that for free,” said one banking consultant. But consumer advocates are calling shenanigans on the banks’ rationale. “Just because you made a lot of money on overdraft fees doesn’t mean you deserve the income and doesn’t mean you need the income,” says a US PIRG official.

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