Bank of America to Change Fees for Checking Accounts, Cites Increased Regulation

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

As the retail banking industry enters a new year after the implementation of overdraft fee regulations and in preparation for a significant drop in debit card interchange fees, we’re beginning to see some initial stabilization in checking account fee strategies. Case in point is Bank of America’s new fees:

Under the new program, consumers who carry low account balances would be subject to a $9 monthly maintenance fee. Meanwhile, those with at least $50,000 in deposits and investments would receive priority customer service and higher interest rates on their savings. The new accounts will be tested in Arizona, Georgia and Massachusetts this month and are slated to be rolled out nationwide late this year or early next.

This strategy exemplifies a return to account stratifications that were common in the decades before free banking became the price of entry. The better relationship you had with a bank (i.e., more accounts), the more favorable the terms of your relationship. We would expect this to become normalized across more financial institutions as the reality of new non-interest income streams sets in to FIs balance sheets.

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