With a slew of new regulations headed their way, banks are jacking up their fees and credit card rates, in a blatant attempt to squeeze every last penny out of their customers. They say they’re just trying to recoup the money these new consumer protections will cost them. For example, banks must now notify customers before changing their credit card contracts. “They’ll have to send out more letters, which has a cost,” says one executive.
“That’s one way of looking at it,” allows David Lazarus of the LA Times. “Another is that banks are cheesed because lawmakers are showing some uncharacteristic backbone…and they’re turning the screw because, well, they can.” They say it’s just the free market in action, which is pretty funny. “Where were all those market forces when these guys were making staggeringly reckless investments in mortgage-backed securities?” (Read more bank regulation stories.)