Early this year BBVA Compass added monthly fees to its Build-to-Order Checking. I reviewed these changes in January. It appears those new fees weren't enough for Compass. A reader just forwarded me a letter he received describing higher fees and new requirements to avoid fees for the CompassLink Checking and the Build-to-Order Checking. These changes will be taking effect on September 30, 2011. Compass is blaming the new financial regulations:
Changes in financial regulations over the last year have required BBVA Compass to reevaluate the features and pricing of our accounts and services.
As I mentioned last week, it's not just new regulations, banks are also seeing reduced lending and it's not expected to improve anytime soon. Banks are looking for ways to increase revenue, and unfortunately, depositors are being hit yet again. The debit card regulation that takes effect in October primarily targets big banks with assets over $10 billion. So we should see fewer of these changes at small banks and credit unions including those which offer reward checking.
If you have Compass Bank's Build-to-Order checking, you might want to reconsider keeping it after these changes take effect. The monthly service charge will increase from $8.95 to $10.95, and it's a little harder to avoid this. Also, the Premium Features will no longer be available. These features include free ATMs when you use non-Compass ATMs and $25 bonuses on your account anniversary.
For the CompassLink Checking, you will have to maintain a $5,000 combined average daily collected balance in your CompassLink Checking and/or linked Compass Preferred Money Market accounts. This is currently $3,000. The other option to avoid the monthly fee will be to maintain a $7,500 minimum daily balance in your linked installment loans (excluding mortgages).
Hat tip to the reader who emailed me this info.
BBVA Compass is the 31st largest bank in the nation and operates 716 branches in Texas, Alabama, California, Arizona, Florida, Colorado and New Mexico. It's under the bank holding company Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A., the second largest bank in Spain.