Almost everyone has an story about the annoyance of overdraft fees.
We all had cause to rejoice after reading Smithee’s recent post about banks backing off of overdraft fees. However, banks, being the business that they are, are already scheming for new ways to wring money out of us.
An AP article on a local news site about new ‘business ideas’ banks are considering caught my attention. Obviously, banks exist to make money, and the quickly-fading overdraft fees are an easy source of income for these businesses. The AP article I read highlighted the fact that now that some banks are becoming more lenient and allowing for a bit more wiggle-room when it comes to overdrafts, they might be trying to stick it to you in other ways.
Banks may begin adding fees or minimum balances to checking accounts, or may charge for other services they offer. One way banks may look to make the best of this situation is to offer a variety of new products, all very similar but with different fees and charges built in.
Interestingly enough, the recent credit card legislation may have paved the way for new regulations on debit cards, as well.
The days of automatically enrolling every customer in overdraft protection may be at an end.
“Such changes could help offset the steep losses banks face as they overhaul their overdraft programs, which have come under intensifying scrutiny in the past year. Critics say automatic enrollment in overdraft programs, which has become an industry standard, is deceptive because most people assume they can only spend money they have when using debit cards.”
While banks will begin placing a whole new emphasis on attracting new customers and driving them to their more ‘lucrative’ products, it’s important to monitor your accounts and statements carefully over the next few months to be aware of any new charges or requirements placed on your accounts.
Being aware will help you save money and will avoid any of those annoying fees.
Source: Where Will Banks Make Up Lost Overdraft Fees?
Updated February 10, 2011 and originally published September 24, 2009. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.