Several years ago, Jim Hunt moved on from what is now Chase to become OnPoint Community Credit Union’s chief financial officer. But it wasn’t until December 2010 that his daughter moved her account with him.
“I’d been on her for a while,” Jim Hunt said.
The trigger: Chase’s new requirements to avoid monthly checking fees.
“I hardly have a balance above the threshold at a single time,” said Katherine Hunt, who studied law at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Now, she says, “a lot of my friends have switched for the same reason.”
Hunt and her friends aren’t alone in leaving big banks because of not-so-free checking. Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase and KeyBank, four of Oregon’s six largest banks, have announced monthly fees on their most basic checking accounts. Competitors say they’re picking up some of the dissatisfied customers.
Plenty of financial institutions still offer free, no-frills checking. But increasingly, they’re taking away perks or charging for other services.