What Caused the Turmoil?
The seeds were sown over the past couple of decades as banks added more and more fees to their checking accounts and manipulated the way they processed daily debits and credits to ensure more NSF fee income.
A plethora of new types of checking accounts were introduced. Many were loaded with features to justify higher fees and minimum balance requirements. Faced with too many checking account choices, consumers developed a greater fear of choosing the wrong account.
The big banks kept getting bigger. Marketing budgets in the hundreds of millions ensured the smaller community banks had a tougher time getting new checking customers.
The battle between free checking and fee-based checking continued unabated.