For years now you may have enjoyed the benefits of having a free checking account.
However, that may change soon, as financial institutions look for new ways to make up losses they may have experienced during the recession. Some banks may switch free checking accounts over to a process that assesses a fee if there isn’t a minimum amount on a balance sheet.
Recently, Senator Charles Schumer sent a letter to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke asking that the central bank make sure that financial institutions are giving customers enough warning regarding these switches. The Democrat from New York said that the new policies may be coming too quickly for some consumers, which could affect their personal finance situations.
"Before banks impose new fees on something that has been free for years, they should at least give customers enough time and notice to get ready or even change banks if they want to," Schumer said.
Some of the banks that are switching from free checking include Wells Fargo and Bank of America, while others have already changed their policies. Along with the recession, this could be in response to additional federal regulations on credit cards and overdraft-protection programs.