sábado, 15 de enero de 2011

Free Checking and Its Future

In this weekend’s “Your Money” column, I try to unpack a curious statement from Chase Bank about why it decided to add monthly fees on many of its checking accounts. Let’s just repeat it here for emphasis:

“We don’t want to raise fees on our customers,” a company spokesman said. “But unfortunately, regulation is forcing us to do it. And as a result, some customers may end up unbanked.”

I’m not sure I agree with any of it, frankly. But what matters most for consumers is whether other banks, big or small, or credit unions end up agreeing. I still think that people who want free checking accounts and don’t have big balances are going to be able to find them for the foreseeable future, though it may not always be at an institution that’s near their homes or even has branches. And they may have to go through the irritating process of closing accounts and opening new ones to get the service free.

What do you think?