Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bank Fees and More Bank Fees: A Report from Las Vegas

Oh yeah, those new regulations are sure helping out the little guy. Here's a report on how one EPJ reader is getting smacked with new fees thanks to the Durbin Amendment, a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act:

I live in Las Vegas and in the last 2 months I have received three pieces
of mail from Wells Fargo, each announcing new fees. The first was a $3 fee
per month for using my debit card. Then I got another piece of mail
regarding my long standing free complete advantage account, now they will be
charging me a $15 monthly fee unless I keep a balance of at least $7500. Yesterday, I was told that my credit card will now have a $19 annual membership
fee, instead of being free. All together, I am being hammered with over $200 in annual fees to keep my accounts, and I have no idea if any one else is going to treat me any better or worse. So yes I contacted my senator Harry Reid to thank him for all the wonderful new bank regulations, and asked him to please do more to destroy this country.

Thanks for all your great reporting, you are an important daily read.



  1. how much does it really cost to store digits in a computer database? Counterfeiting is getting expensive! Might just as well buy precious metals and pay to store them...Can't counterfeit metals...yet.

  2. I know I will take heat for this, but I think the new debit card fees are great. I never use a debit card. I now realize that I have been subsidizing debit card users. The retailers passed on their debit card transaction costs to all their customers, including me. Now, the people who use the service will pay, not me. Sounds fair. No?

  3. Star Gazer-

    If banks were private, free market institutions, free to charge and compete at will, without myriad regulations and multiple "unkown unknowns" (courtesy of an ever-changing regulatory environment, with no guarantees of future changes) then a mix of "free" debit transactions and "pay as you go" debit transactions would be the norm.

    Make no mistake- your bank will find ways to charge you, and though you might cheer this single change, the other changes that are coming will make your banking experience less pleasant.

    When your bank (and soon your credit card provider) starts charging you a "transaction fee"- and they undoubtedly will- you won't be as sanguine about these new charges. Even worse will be when you find that many of the places you use your credit card have stopped taking them because the fees they pay have increased so much that it makes sense to quit taking them and pay for the expense (labor, business bank fees, "loss") of converting to pure cash.

    I've seen you comment here before, so surely you realize that this change is just a preview of the new expense that will come with ANY bank or credit transaction, and will show up in the price you pay for every item you purchase-from gas to groceries to housing.

    I look forward to your reply.

  4. Richard...
    When I was much younger and had a checking account I did not earn interest and was charged a monthly fee. That was the norm back then. Fees are coming back and perks are going away. No doubt. The difference between then and now is that now the banking system is a mess so we don't know what is fair anymore.

    Bottom line: You are most certainly right. I am not sanguine about our financial future. We have crossed the Rubicon on our way to disaster. Sad.

  5. Star-Gazer, I just re-read my initial reply to you, and it sounded harsher than I meant when directing it at a fellow poster. Thanks for being gracious in your reply.

  6. Richard: I did not read your reply as being harsh. It was an honest reply to a 'flip' comment that I should have put into better context.