Bank Savings Account Rates Drop as Other Fees Increase0
Consumers who are interested in saving money are finding one common theme throughout the industry – bank savings accounts interest rates are low. This is not a new theme, yet it seems that rates are dropping even further in recent months. For those who want to save, there is little to cause them to choose to save through traditional bank savings accounts.
Yet, savings account rates are not the only trend being seen in today’s markets. Banks are raising fees across the board to make up for the losses in income experienced after recent government changes that were designed to protect consumers. While consumers may appreciate these changes, the changes have sent banks scrambling to make up for the lost income.
One of these changes was the cap set on debit-card swipe fees. As a result, banks stand to lose $6 billion per year. In addition, banks are now prohibited from automatically enrolling their customers in overdraft programs on their debit cards. This puts them in a position to lose $1 billion in overdraft fees a year. These are not small numbers, and banks have to make up that revenue somewhere.
Bank Fees Customers Can Expect to See Increase
Consumers who are wondering how this trend is going to affect them will want to spend some time reading all of the paperwork they get from their bank. Penalties for bounced checks and other types of overdrafts, where still applicable, are going to increase. But this is not sufficient to cover the losses the banks have experienced.
As a result, bank fees are going to start popping up in areas they never had fees before. Annual fees for credit and bank savings accounts are likely to be more common. Debit card fees, like the failed one attempted by Bank of America, may become common once that uproar over that failed attempt dies down. Monthly maintenance fees may also be a problem for people to contend with.
Of course, alternatives are popping up for those who want to avoid these bank fees. Pre-paid debit cards, for instance, are something some consumers are opting to use rather than traditional checking accounts. The only fee involved with these services is a fee to load the card, and then all transactions are free and there are no opportunities for overdrafts. Yet, it is still difficult to live in a world without paper checks, so these options may not work for all consumers.
In the end, consumers may have to deal with increased fees and decreased rates in the current economy. Banks have to make money, and if they cannot make money the way they have been used to and cannot make money through interest rates, then they are going to have to raise fees in order to cover some of those losses. Consumers are going to need to learn to read all fine print in order to learn what those fees are and decide if they are willing to accept them or not.