Banks investigating new ways to bleed customers with fees

There’s little chance the new Congress will care after cashing in on banking money. How many more times will the middle class be asked to prop up the banking industry? Without high stakes gambling or scam-like fees, the financial industry will have to settle for more down to earth salaries and profits. The problem is, they’re convinced that they are geniuses and of course, much smarter than everyone else. Their everlasting sense of entitlement won’t end until someone finally calls them out but with the weaklings and boot lickers in Washington, don’t hold your breath. WSJ:

To counter that lost revenue, banks are thinking about imposing annual fees of $25 or $30 on debit cards, according to people familiar with bank strategies. Some also considering limiting the number of debit-card transactions that a customer can make each month, these people said. Another idea circulating in the industry: Limiting the size of a purchase that a customer could make with a debit card. At the same time, reward programs for debit cards are likely to get the ax, these people say.

New debit-card fees are “definitely a 2011 issue,” says Robert Hammer, who runs a banking-industry consulting firm in Thousand Oaks, Calif. “The question is which quarter it will be and which bank will go first.”

New proposals from the Federal Reserve call for limiting how much banks can charge merchants for debit-card transactions. The proposals, released last month, are part of the Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul bill that was enacted last year. The Fed has proposed capping debit-card merchant fees, known as interchange, at seven to 12 cents a transaction. That represents a drop of as much as 84% from the current average rate of 44 cents.

At this point, who would want to keep their money with any of these banks? Unless you are super wealth, there’s too little benefit to staying with any of the big banks. Even for the wealth, the big banks hardly care about their customers as we saw during the crisis. They were often the ones duped into purchasing the mortgage garbage that all imploded.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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