MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - America's banks are hitting customers with new fees and charges. Angry customers are left wondering: should they stay or should they go to another bank?
"I think that's terrible, but what can you do about it?" said a Bank of America customer, Diane Davis.
"It may be something that all banks may eventually get to, anywhere the banks can make money they're going to make it i guess we have to have our fees and debit cards because we're going to use it,” said another Bank of America customer, Tameka Bonds.
Starting in January 2012, Bank of America customers will pay $5 a month to use their debit cards for purchases and if you can't maintain a balance of at least $1,500, you'll get charged $12 a month on certain checking accounts.
"They've been very greedy and they've gotten themselves in a lot of trouble with mortgage bank security transactions. Banks are scrambling for ways to create income and so they're going to go the little guy and slap fees on them as long as the little guy can take it,” said Shea Wealth Management Financial Advisor, Karen Shea.
Angela Harrington of Memphis couldn't take it anymore.
"I was angry that they were just pulling money out of my account," Harrington told abc24.com.
She banks with First Tennessee and noticed fees this summer.
"I don’t make enough money to be charged x amount of dollars each quarter and the banker said that's just our policy,” said Harrington.
According to Harrington, in September her bank started charging up to $25 for not having a certain balance.
“I thought it was kind of ridiculous and I was back and fourth on the phone with an online representative," said Harrington.
Orion Federal Credit Union does not charge debit card fees. The CEO said more people are considering his bank.
“There are a lot of inquiries. I think people are a little nervous now because of other bank fees but they're not going to change banks quickly because it can be difficult or think other banks will follow suit and add fees but we have no intention of doing that,” Orion CEO Daniel Weickenand told abc24.com.
Shea said you need to do your homework and shop banks before opening a checking account. Bank of America customers can still get free checking, but only if they meet certain conditions, like setting up direct deposit. Check your bank statements and ask your bank questions so you won’t be surprised with fees.
On October 22, 2011 First Tennessee will start charging a debit card fee. The fee will be 4 cents for PIN transactions and 14 cents on signature transactions, up to a maximum monthly amount of $3. Regions will also charge a $4 fee later this month. SunTrust started charging $5 for debit card fees with basic checking accounts this past summer.