Fox Business: Why You Are Charged Hefty Bank Fees
No one likes bank fees. So why do banks charge them, taking the risk of alienating their customers?
The simple answer is that banks aren't not-for-profit businesses, says Sandy McCraren, president of Highland Park Bank and Trust, a community bank in Highland Park, Ill.
"It's not because in banks there is a we-have-to-fee-everybody mentality," McCraren says. "So whereas, we would love to be able to give everything free, we can't. It costs money to deliver those products."
Susan Weinstock, director of Pew's Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts center in Washington, D.C., says bank fees should not only be reasonable, but also clearly and openly disclosed.
"The problem with a lot of bank fees is that they're hidden, so consumers don't know until after they've incurred them. If they rely on paper statements, they may not know about a fee they've incurred for weeks until the statement comes in the mail," Weinstock says. "We know from other research we've done that hidden fees can push people out of the banking system."