Bank depositors are being hit with a double whammy. First, deposit rates are at record lows, and with the recent mid-2013 pledge by the Fed, rates will likely continue to fall. Second, with weak loan demand and new regulations, banks are looking for new ways to increase revenue. This New York Times article mentioned a new type of fee that we may soon see:
Even as they cut payrolls, banks are exploring ways to generate revenue that could translate to higher costs for consumers. Among the possibilities are new fees for automatic deductions from checking accounts that pay utility and cable bills, according to people involved in the discussions.
The article also mentioned the new monthly fees at some banks when you use your debit card. I reviewed some of these banks in a previous post. SunTrust Bank will add a $5 monthly fee on its Everyday Checking Account when the customer makes a debit card purchase. Regions Bank's LifeGreen Checking has a $4 monthly fee when the customer makes a debit card purchase.
In addition to these new types of fees, banks are making it more difficult to avoid monthly fees. This may hit many savers who opened checking accounts to qualify for special CD rates. The latest example of this is at Regions Bank. The reader cumulus posted in this forum thread about Regions Bank fee changes that are scheduled to take effect on October 1st. Those who have Regions checking accounts should review these changes to make sure they don't get hit with a $18 monthly fee.
It's not just checking accounts that are being hit with new fees. U.S. Bank raised the annual fee on its IRAs from $10 to $30, and the minimum IRA balance to have this fee waived went up from $5,000 to $25,000.
One thing that can help you avoid missing the fee changes is our new bank alerts feature. In addition to notifying you when there's a rate change at your bank, it can also send you an email when there's a new blog post or forum thread about your bank. So if we mention a new fee, you'll be notified.