Pocono Record: Jim Hightower on Outrageous Bank Fees

Jim Hightower:  Bank fees are more outrageous than ever before


How’s this for gratitude?

Wall Street bankers, whom we’ve propped up with a $12 trillion bailout, are quietly slipping offensive little notes into your and my monthly credit card bills and bank statements. The message is: “Gotcha again, suckers.”

Their “gotcha” is a rash of rate increases and fee increases. In June, for example, Bank of America abruptly raised its fee for a basic checking account by 50 percent, and Citibank jacked up the interest rate on some of its credit cards to an outrageous 29.99 percent.

My favorite fee increase, however, is for bounced checks. This has been a steadily rising moneymaker for the industry, producing about $32 billion for the banks last year. With the current economic collapse, though, folks are taking special care these days not to overdraw their accounts, because banks hit you with a fee of up to $35 for each overdraft.

As a result, bankers are collecting less money from this charge.

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