Banks Charge New Fees For Services That Were Free

Download Audio

Have you recently looked at your bank statement and found a surprise maintenance fee?

One of our producers received a letter in the mail saying her free basic savings account would be hit with a $5 monthly fee if she didn't maintain an average daily balance.

And remember last year, when Bank of America tried to charge a $5 monthly debit card usage fee? At the time, a spokesman said "the economics of offering a debit card have changed," but the idea was so unpopular — and the public outcry so vocal-- that the company backtracked.

More and more customers are getting hit with growing fees, as banks try to recoup revenue lost as a result of consumer protection legislation.

Nearly 50 Different Possible Fees

Gail MarksJarvis, personal finance columnist for the Chicago Tribune, says Pew has discovered there are 49 different charges that you might get hit with if you have a checking account.

"Some banks will charge you $9 to use a teller... [or] $5 to replace a card," she told Here & Now's Monica Brady-Myerov.

"They're looking for ways to capture fees that you might not notice," she said.


This segment aired on March 30, 2012.


More from Here & Now

Listen Live