Since last fall, some banks have said they have no plans to change their policies, but a number of others have modified their policies on which customers qualify for free checking. We can bet that other changes are in the works. The most likely reason for the new, stricter policies is that banks are hoping checking account fees will help offset the loss of extremely profitable overdraft fees and the possible loss of other lucrative revenue sources.
Late last month, Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York asked the Federal Reserve to “ensure that banks are allowing customers enough time and notice to understand and prepare for the new fees.”
Meanwhile, to help consumers sort through the changes, we reached out to a number of the big banks to identify which have changed or are changing their free checking policies. We call them out in our free checking account watch list below.
- Wells Fargo
- Fifth Third Bank
- Bank of America