Banks Ring In 2010 With Exciting New Fees

New laws and rules affecting banks and credit card issuers go into effect soon, depriving them of their badly needed profits. Since sudden rate hikes and cascading overdraft fees are soon to be things of the past, bankers are busy formulating creative new fees. Here’s what you have to look forward to in the new year.

World Financial Network National Bank, an issuer of store cards for retailers such as Victoria’s Secret, Gander Mountain, and Talbots, is introducing a $1 fee for paper statements, and blames the constraints of the CARD act for the new fee.

“One requirement of the Credit Card Act of 2009 is that monthly billing statements will now have to include significantly more information pertaining to the cardholder’s terms and conditions, thus increasing the amount of paper, production and postal expenses as well as having a greater environmental impact,” the company said in a written statement.

In addition to sneaky new fees, consumers can also look forward to the phasing out of free checking at some banks.

Banks Roll Out New Check, Card Fees [Wall Street Journal]


Edit Your Comment

  1. KillerBee says:

    Be careful what you wish for… you might get it.

    • twophrasebark says:

      Well I wish these companies would learn how to make a profit without being in a constant race to come up with new scams and ways to gouge their customers before the government can outlaw them.

      Once upon a time, these companies made money. I think they had some crazy ideas like: keep your company from becoming perversely bloated with executives that you don’t need, treat your customers well, offer a good product and charge reasonable rates.

      Crazy times, they were.

  2. jacques says:

    Once my bank starts nibbling with funny fees like those in the article, I’m switching to a local bank or credit union. But I think TD is still trying to catch up from all the bad publicity over the merger to start doing BS fees….yet.

  3. rwalford792 says:

    I personally think that sneaky fees are not only what got this country in trouble, but what will remain getting this country in trouble.

    I remember my WAMU Free Checking was costing me something close to $200 a month in fees… Im surprised they went out of business with just the amount of fees I paid, and this isnt even including Overdraft Fees that snuck up on me.

    I think banks should charge $10 a month for NORMAL CHECKING, and instead of calling it “CHECKING” why not call it “ATM/DEBIT ACCOUNT” – no one uses checks since Check21 came into play.

    • tbax929 says:

      $200 in fees? What kind of account was that???

    • veronykah says:

      Yeah what exactly were YOU doing to get $200 in fees a month. I’ve had a WaMu free checking account for almost 10 years and have only paid fees when I’ve used my debit card in foreign countries.

  4. nonzenze says:

    Who gets paper bills anyway? I signed up for online billing as soon as it was available.

    • ben says:

      I do. I pay all of my bills online, but I still like to receive paper copies in the mail.

    • Judah says:

      Paper bills and statements are the only way to go if you plan on keeping records for your own use. If you trust the banks, credit cards, and utilities to never do wrong by you, then I guess you don’t need statements. I’m not that trusting. Also, good luck getting an apartment or ID card without a utility bill.

  5. dwb says:

    Someone needs to tell the banking industry that when times are tough, they may have to endure lower profits. Does anyone else think all this whining we hear from them is not because they are losing money, but because they are trying to maintain profits that are out of range for the financial climate?

    • DeeJayQueue says:

      tell that to the people who invest in the banks and the funds that the banks manage. They staked their retirement on the bank making a regular increase in profit. The banks and all corporations for that matter are beholden to their stockholders first and the customers second. Since the stockholders want to see annual growth despite (actually because of) a poor financial climate, banks have to make the money up somehow, and the only place they can really go for money they won’t have to give back is their customers.

  6. lv_spiff says:

    I have an old CU checking and savings account that I have kept active even though I don’t use them actively (maybe once every year). Today I received the mailing showing the new rates to just keep an account open. Now even though I keep a substantial amount in savings (over 50k) I am being charged a fee to keep the accounts open unless I 1) deposit more monthly and 2) keep the checking account active with purchases each month (no number given). The best part is that the interest they offer on the savings account doesn’t even meet the fees amount. As of Monday my search for a new bank begins. If others are like me I imagine there is going to be a mass exodus from banks that use this practice and we will soon be seeing more failures.

    • TouchMyMonkey says:

      That’s kind of par for the course. Change your direct deposit to your CU and see how their attitude toward letting you not pay these fees improves. Otherwise, close it and find a different CU. Most of them aren’t dicks.

  7. JH6 says:

    Citizens bank is now charging $5 to cash a check drawn on their own bank!

    I don’t have an account there, but my tenants do. I take the rent checks there monthly to cash them, and the guy told me they were starting this next month.

    What a terrible bank.

    • ben says:

      Maybe I’m missing something, but why wouldn’t you just deposit/cash the checks at your own bank?

      • mythago says:

        Because then there’s no chance of the check bouncing. If you take it to their bank, the bank takes the money out of the customer’s account and hands you the cash.

        I was pretty sure that it was illegal for a bank to charge a fee to cash a check drawn on one of its customers; they can ask you for ID over and above

        • azntg says:

          Well, the check can still bounce if the accountholder does not have sufficient funds.

          But you’re right that you can sidestep the (sometimes unreasonably long) “hold” that many financial institutions impose on non-local checks (despite Check 21). And on the chance that the check bounces, you won’t have to pay your financial institution a non-honored item fee.

    • azntg says:

      Unfortunately, it’s becoming a common practice with almost all financial institutions (banks, credit unions. Yes, even small and local ones too).

      They want their fees and they want their stranglehold (of financial institution reliance for day-to-day transactions)

  8. MedicallyNeedy says:

    I’m going back to paper billing because B of A doesn’t understand a credit from a debit. I have been over billed through Bank of America for both Verizon and Comcast. I caught it but I’m having a real hard time going back to paper Verizon statements. Just try maneuvering through the jumps and hurdles in printing out a Verizon statement!

  9. StarVapor says:

    Dump dealing with the major banks, put your money in your local community banks and credit unions.

    • azntg says:

      What happens when your local community bank and your small, local credit union is actually worse than major banks?

      I’ve looked at some local community banks and credit unions around town. Wasn’t impressed by Inconvenient branch hours (with spotty ATM/Internet Banking access), higher fees, higher minimum balance/activity requirements (if they don’t have a “Free” checking account), below market interest/dividends, etc. The deal killers tend to come in combinations and can make a big nationwide bank look good in comparison.

      To me, it’s a sugarcoated catchphrase at best. But YMMV.

  10. bstewart says:

    Last year before I became a Consumerist reader, I signed up for a Victoria’s Secret Angel card in an effort to raise my credit score. I paid it off in full when I got the first bill and I haven’t used it since. Now I find out that I could possibly be charged for an “inactive account”? Since when did becoming a responsible creditor earn a punishment? I can’t afford the store anymore, so I don’t use the card. If I cancel the card, it reflects poorly on my credit score. Now it seems that they’re going to try and milk money out of me simply because I can’t afford to shop at VS anymore… Now the question becomes, which is the lesser of the two evils?

  11. NorthJersey says:

    There’s always the First National Bank of Sealy, too.

  12. haymoose says:

    Hey, I have idea, why doesn’t someone sponsor a bill which makes the national banks split up like the telcoms and go back to all banks having to remain inside state operating restrictions?

  13. Telekinesis123 says:

    “One requirement of the Credit Card Act of 2009 is that monthly billing statements will now have to include significantly more information pertaining to the cardholder’s terms and conditions, thus increasing the amount of paper, production and postal expenses as well as having a greater environmental impact,”

    What a load of baloney. They have no problem sending me oodles and oodles of “credit card checks” with double pages of color printed speals every 3 months for years even though I have never used them once. They also include advertisements in full color with my statements and print extra pages within the stement template anfd letterhead to include advertisements. I also noted that the back page of my statement has plenty of free space 50-70% + for additional information at least without a redesign which would also make more available.

    More PR gibberish, I wonder how these PR people sleep at night…must be easy without a soul waking you up.

  14. TechnoDestructo says:

    It only necessitates more paper for terms and conditions if they change the terms and conditions every month.

    But they’re already doing that anyway without informing the customer, so I that’s right.