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Banks Begin Adding New Fees

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – A bunch of new bank fees are starting to appear, and many customers don’t like them.

Instead of charging larger penalties for things like overdrafts, many banks are now tacking on surcharges for services that we often used to get for free.

For example, one bank charges $25 a month to avoid fees associated with using an out of network ATM.

Another wants $5 to replace a missing debit card; It’s $20 for it to be rushed.

Boston resident Dave Alexander of Boston was surprised when his bank wanted him to pay extra to use a human teller. “I just said, ‘Is it April Fool’s, or what’s going on?’ They said, ‘No, that’s recent bank policy.’”

Claes Bell of www.bankrate.com explained, “There’s all different kinds of little fees and every bank is a little bit different. Some of these fees are being put forward by big national banks. Some of them are small banks and credit unions.”

For $1 a month, one bank let’s a caller jump over other callers on hold, so their call can be taken first.

At another institution, they want $1 to print out one of those ATM mini-statements.

Bell said, “Banks are really struggling to find ways to make money off their checking deposits so they’re experimenting with new things.”

The American Bankers Association defends these new fees because of the costs they have to cover. Spokeswoman Nessa Feddis added, “Those costs have to be recovered. And the costs aren’t just for providing statements and processing transactions. It’s also for preventing fraud, protecting privacy.”

The ABA points out 59% of consumers pay no bank fees at all.

Feddis added that many people will pay more for convenience, similar to the fees some airline passengers pay to board a plane first.

The ABA believes this approach particularly appeals to younger consumers. “Baby boomers apparently like an all in one fee, whereas Gen Y, Gen X like to build their own. They want the basics and they’ll pay extra for what they want,” said Feddis.

Consumers like Dave Alexander aren’t buying that explanation, and have had enough. “I just won’t be nickeled and dimed to death.”

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