According to a new report from the 2012 U.S. Banking Sector Outlook, the New Year’s ring could signal a major “cha-ching” for banks in 2012, as financial institutions all across the country react to timely federal restrictions by scrambling to add new fees to their recession weary customers.
Coming from a new report from The Huffington Post’s Catherine New, “ In 2012, expect to see higher minimum balance requirements and an ongoing push to increase customers' credit card spending, according to a "2012 U.S. Banking Sector Outlook" report from Trepp, an analytics company that provides information to the banking industry. Other industry analysts predict that some banks could raise overdraft fees from $35 to a new high of $40 and that more institutions will increase monthly maintenance fees on basic checking accounts to between $12 and $15. Over the past three years, various new regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act and the Credit Card Act have reined in certain aggressive fee practices. More regulations in 2012 are expected to further hamper banks' ability to make big profits off the basic banking activities of consumers.”
With regaining revenue as the latest New Year’s resolution for the financial sector, banks will encourage customers to “bundle” their accounts, such as savings and checking, by waiving these same new fees. The idea is that if you’re depositing money into multiple accounts with one financial institution, you’re more likely to stay with that bank in a long-term relationship that can be lucrative for the institution, and costly for customers like you.
Why so costly? Well, according to the HuffPost report, opening more accounts with one bank, “makes it harder to unwind personal finances from that institution and monopolizes a customer's funds.”
Bank fees and charges on their own can monopolize your funds.
In fact, a Pew Charitable Trust report in 2011 examined fees and policies at 10 of the largest banks in the United States and found that the median bank account had been issued a staggering 49 separate types of fees, ranging from $1.50 to $175. Nevertheless, the profits weren’t rolling in for banks as was previously thought: while the Pew report estimated overdraft fees alone would cost Americans around $38 billion this year, financial experts at Bloomberg more recently found that number would fly in around $16 billion. Other less-known fees, such as returned check fees and stop payment fees, cost customers an average $12 and $29 each, respectively, meaning as banks struggle to find ways to wring more money out of you and other customers, they’ll likely make less costly fees more costly in the coming year, while making it easier to fall into the type of “high-dollar” fees that will leave you out of dozens of dollars per missed transaction.
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