In the News
As readers know all too well, the very short story of the financial crisis was consumers and banks went on big borrowing party and it all ended really badly, except for the banks.
However, banks built their businesses with the expectation that consumers would continue to rack up debt. But consumers aren’t too keen about that any more. Moreover, banks have also gotten a bit of religion and are more careful with extending loans. Since they aren’t making as much money on consumer lending, their natural impulse is to find other ways to fleece obtain more revenue from consumers.
We pointed out that Bank of America is determined to preserve its egregious debit card profits, and is circumventing the intent of recent legislation by charging all but reasonably profitable customers a $5 monthly fee for any debit card use (save at a BofA ATM). We hope customers will leave in droves.
We noted that Bank of America no doubt hoped that this move would serve as a bit of price leadership and other banks would follow. Citi apparently decided that the debit card fee was a smidge too obvious and it would try another route.
Reader Deloss alos told us, via e-mail, taht Citi has increased its balance requirements for free checking:
For what it’s worth, there was a discreet notice on my online Citi page announcing that either I had to raise my minimum balance from $10,000 to $15,000 or I had to start paying $20/month plus various other fees.
I called to check and yes, that is the new policy.