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Big Bailed-Out Banks Ramp Up Fees

Even as the biggest banks have reached up for billions in federal aid, they have reached down to collect more and more penalty fees from consumers. The Washington Post gives a rundown:

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)


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