Chart: This Is How Dead Free Checking Is At Big Banks

This chart from American Banker shows just how many nails are in the coffin of free checking at big banks in a post-Durbin amendment world. That is a whopping drop from 96% of large banks offering free checking in 2009 to only 34.6% in 2011. What’s also amazing is just how resilient free checking is at the credit unions and smaller banks, which continue to use it as a marketing tactic to attract customers.

At the same time, if you’re considering moving your money to a smaller bank or credit union, you should be cognizant of how “free checking” is really “a bit of a misnomer,” writes Reuters blogger Felix Salmon. “Checking is never free. It’s just that in recent years banks have been able to conjure the illusion of free through a system of regressive cross-subsidies, where the poor pay massive overdraft fees and thereby allow the rich to pay nothing.”

Free Checking Thrives at Smaller Banks, Durbin Notwithstanding [American Banker]
Chart of the day, free checking edition [Felix Salmon]