Is It Time to Look for a New Bank?

There has been a lot of hand wringing lately by banks. Regulations are in effect, and soon, a debit fee interchange cap will be instituted. Big banks, which have been enjoying big profits since many of them repaid their TARP obligations, are complaining about lost revenues. And, in order to recover some of the money they say they are losing as a result of regulations and caps, they are starting look for ways to raise your fees.

Read What Your Bank Sends You

It can be tempting to just throw out what your bank is sending you, but you shouldn’t. Indeed, it’s vital that you read everything. This is because your bank could be sending you notices about new account requirements. My primary bank just instituted an activity requirement on its accounts. If I don’t make a certain number of transactions in a month, I will be charged a fee.

Other banks are adding monthly service fees to all of their accounts, or adding fees if you don’t keep a certain minimum balance. You might also discover that some banks are adding ATM fees. The charge for using an out of network ATM is going up in some cases, and some banks are even charging their own customers more for ATM use. All of this information will appear in your mailbox, so it’s important to read everything sent to you by your bank.

Is It Time to Switch?

With all of the concern about rising rates, you might be thinking about switching banks. This makes sense. When you are charged fees, it cuts into your money. Banks are using your money, and they usually pay you for it. But, in this climate of low interest rates and poor economic growth, your savings account yields are paltry. Add in fees, and any small yields you are getting can be completely overwhelmed.

It’s little surprise that some are thinking of switching. The good news is that you can look at the best online banks, as well as local banks and credit unions. Shop around for a new financial institution. There are online institutions that offer competitive rates, rewards checking, and other perks. You can find local banks and credit unions that are part of nationwide ATM co-ops that won’t charge you fees for ATM use, or banks that refund any fees that you pay. If you can spare the time, it is possible to find a financial institution that is worth switching to.

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