Banking fees cost consumers more than they realize; banks under pressure from huge losses continue to increase those fees. Your “free checking” may be “bait” for other fees which can cost consumers hundreds of dollars per year. Be careful! In a New York Times article by Eric Dash, banks who received billions of dollars in bailout money (yes, the bailout money came directly from you and your taxes…it’s the only money the government has), have thanked the taxpayer by turning around and raising fees even more. Should the banks be under an obligation to lower fees? NO! Should you (or me), the consumer, be under an obligation, or continue to subject ourselves to these fees? NO!
It would be considerate to compare SOME (not all) financial industry companies to snake-oil-salesmen, selling the consumer something they don’t need or doesn’t really help. It would be more accurate, and plain-spoken, to compare SOME (not all) financial industry companies to drug-dealers who deliberately pray on ignorant and/or desperate consumers, hoping those consumers will forever wander in a financial malaise, but not “die” (i.e.- file bankruptcy).
Is the solution more government regulation? Not in my opinion. We should all be able to see what happens when the government gets involved in things. As one banker told me…”Do you want your experience at the bank to become like your experience at the DMV?” (good point Mr. Banker).
So what’s the consumer to do? Know what your bank charges. Know what your credit cards cost you. Know your mortgage costs. Know your insurance costs. Know your health care costs. Does that sound like too much to do? Do you want the government to do that for you? If so, move to China, Cuba or Venezuela…or just wait a few years…we’re getting there fast.