Responding to bad press it received over the announcement of a new fee and increases of other fees, TD Bank put out a press release clarifying aspects of its new $9-per-withdrawal charge for excessive savings account withdrawals (excluding ATM and teller withdrawals). Insisting the fee will affect only 1 percent of its customers, the release ends with some helpful advice on how to avoid its charges.
Key clarifications from the release include:
* Federal Regulation (Regulation D) limits the number of electronic withdrawals or transfers from a Savings or Money Market account to six per month to discourage Consumers from using a Savings or Money Market account like a Checking account.
* Customers who exceed six electronic transfers or withdrawals from a Savings/Money Market account will incur the fee with the seventh transaction. The transactions under this limitation include: online, phone, check, automatic transfers and bill payments. Again, ATM or Teller transfers or withdrawals do not count towards this limit, nor do any deposits.
* Most banks and credit unions already charge a fee after six transactions to discourage Consumers from using a Savings or Money Market as the main transaction account. If a customer continues to violate the limit, after bank notification, the bank is required by law to close the account or reclassify it as a Checking account.
*The fee can easily be avoided by limiting the number of monthly transactions from a Savings/Money Market account or opening a Checking account.
And now for the bank’s tips on how to avoid the fee:
* Plan ahead and make one large transfer instead of several small transfers.
* Use Checking accounts as the main transaction account and use Savings accounts for savings needs.
* Consider visiting a store, using a TD ATM, or mailing transfer request. These transfers are unlimited.
The unspoken fourth tip is to switch to another bank or credit union.