Banks "Quietly" Increasing Fees on Consumers: ABI

From the American Bankruptcy Institute.  Though banks appear profitable, and relatively unscathed by the financial crisis, they are "quietly" increasing fees.

Banks Quietly Ramping Up Costs to Consumers
Even as Bank of America and other major lenders back away from charging customers to use their debit cards, many banks have been quietly imposing other new fees, The New York Times reported yesterday. Facing a reaction from an angry public and heightened scrutiny from regulators, banks are turning to all sorts of fees that fly under the radar. "Banks tried the in-your-face fee with debit cards, and consumers said, 'enough,'" said Alex Matjanec, a co-founder of "What most people don't realize is that they have been adding new charges or taking fees that have always existed and increased them, or are making them harder to avoid." Banks are under intense pressure to make up an estimated $12 billion a year of income that vanished with the passage of rules curbing lucrative overdraft charges and lowering debit card swipe fees. In addition, banks are struggling to find attractive places to lend or invest all the deposits they hold, which poses another $8 billion drag. Banks would need to recoup, on average, between $15 and $20 per month from each depositor just to earn what they did in the past, according to an analysis by a financial consulting firm. Read more.
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