Thursday, March 17, 2011

bankers explore new customer-fleecing fees

you keep your money in their institution, and what do you get in return from your bank?

you get jacked with new fees out the wazoo for doing the simple things banks are supposed to do.

take for example your ATM card. most of us try not to carry large sums of cash. unless you're a streetcorner hustler, why would you?

because of the crushing debt load many people are now carrying by overuse of credit cards, on the other hand, the plastic doesn't come out nearly as fast as it used to (although the statistic seems to bounce around a lot).

in the middle is the good ol' ATM cash withdrawal. i've been using one since my university first installed a machine back in 1977. open at all hours, it symbolized the modern world of ultimate convenience in the 9-5 world of bankers' hours.

now, in response to the continual need for banks to show increasing profits every single quarter, they're looking to exploit every available contact with their customers. now, meet the $5 ATM fee.

check out this tidbit from ABC news:
The new fees could be especially costly for people who withdraw cash from another bank's ATM. Chase is now charging Illinois residents $5 every time a non-customer withdraws money from a Chase ATM. That's in addition to any fees charged by the customer's bank.
you can sure as hell curb your use of other banks' ATMs, but that will only cover you for a short while, because the banks are desperate for your funds.

the lie at one time was that ATMs were great cost-saving machines for the banks, because their customers no longer had to interact with a real, live teller. now, ostensibly because of new regulations, they need to jack fees to cover those costs.

the irony here, for people who enjoy that sort of thing jabbing them in the pork chops, is that the regs are designed to keep banks from raping consumers. isn't that how it always goes? to eliminate all doubt, however, consider:
The fee increases have more to do with politics than finances, consumer advocates say. The Durbin amendment's limit on debit card fees is scheduled to take effect April 21. Banks and credit unions, worried that the amendment will cost them billions of dollars a year, are engaged in an expensive lobbying battle now to pressure Congress to postponing the deadline.
enjoy your money while you still can. what the banks don't take in fees, the FED will make worthless by printing ever more dollars -- to bail out the big banks, of course.

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