London's Financial Times published an interesting story over the weekend about bank overdraft fees, focusing on research done by Moebs Services, an independent research firm that collects data about financial institution services, pricing, operation expenses and other interesting gems.
Well, prepare to get really angry, even though I don't think any of their findings is all that shocking (interesting, yes... shocking, no). But maybe I'm just too entrenched in researching and writing about bank fees to be easily surprised.
- Banks will likely collect, by the time the year is up, $38.5 billion in bank overdraft fees. That's a new record.
- That to find another recession in which bank fees have gone up, you'd have to go back 40 years to the 1969 recession. The average bank fee this year rose from $25 to $26 (though since we're talking averages, yes, plenty of banks charge into the $30s for their fees).
- The people who are paying the most overdraft fees? And I found this statistic compelling: 90% of overdraft money comes from 10% of the 130 million checking accounts in America.
- Overdraft fees make up 75% of all bank fees.
- If you have a low credit score, you're most likely to be paying overdraft fees.
- The largest banks are lodging the largest overdraft fees. Banks where the assets are greater than $50 billion, the average overdraft fee is $33. We're talking places like Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo.