Bank of America this year raised the maximum number of times customers can get hit with overdraft fees from five a day to 10. On top of that, it began charging a one-time fee of $35 if the account remains in the negative for more than five days. The bank also raised the monthly fee on My Access checking accounts to $8.95 from $5.95. Citigroup's Citibank last year increased its overdraft fee to $34 from $30 and its ATM fees for non-Citibank customers to $3 from $2. Wells Fargo also last year increased its maximum overdraft and insufficient funds fee to $35 from $34.
The fees are big business for the banks, reports the New York Times, which also provides a nice graphic to show which banks charge the highest overdraft fees (KeyCorp, which took $2.5 billion in TARP funds, is the winner with fees that reach $39). The rates are rising despite the recession, says the Times, because with "fewer customers overdrawing their accounts, overdraft fees risk shrinking to a smaller income stream from what [one research firm] estimates is a $38.5 billion business this year."
(On a related note, don't miss our report from earlier this year on a company that has turned bounced checks into a thriving business.)
Other links this morning:
Big Pay Packages Return to Wall Street (WSJ)
Treasury to Name 9 'Toxic' Managers (WSJ)
Mortgage Refinance Program Expands (WaPo)
SEC Moves to Make Companies More Accountable to Shareholders (WaPo)