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Bank Fee Bonanza

July 10, 2009

Consumer advocates expected to see credit card interest rates rise in anticipation of the implementation of the Credit Card Act, but the threat of the upcoming change in law may be affecting the lives of debit card users as well.

According to this article, both Bank of America and Wachovia have raised their debit and bank account fees this summer, a trend that threatens to continue as banks make up for losses in other parts of their businesses.  Overdraft fees are among the most likely to be increased at these and other national banks, but it’s important to keep your eyes open for any sudden charges to your bank account.  “‘Bank fees have been rising steadily for the last ten years. But the gotcha part is becoming a bigger and bigger fee in the market,’ said Consumers Union Attorney Gail Hillebrand.”

In case the increased fees weren’t enough to make you wonder about the integrity of the financial industry, check out this report from the New York Times that says “The nation’s biggest banks — those that received the biggest bailouts from taxpayers, and are once again gaining strength — charge fees that are on average at least 20 percent higher than those at smaller lenders.”

Consumer complaints about the lack of credit card regulation fueled the fire for credit card reform this spring; bank practices will only change if consumers also rally around bank injustices.

(Photo: Andres Rueda)

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