Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Free Checking? Don’t Bank On It

So why did my bank do away with free checking accounts?

Simple: greed.

I now have to maintain a balance of $100 every month or be nailed a $10 fee. Of course, while my bank holds my funds, it does give me some interest back, like .00000000001 per cent.

Actually, it isn’t “my” bank. It’s Their Bank, the corporation that recently bought it out. The bank has gone through a number of name changes over the years as it’s been sold and re-sold and sold again. Each new owner wants to maximize profits.

And one way to do that is to hire a couple of TV personalities to shill for your company, drawing in more customers. Have them hold up green lollipops with the company logo printed on them in big newspaper display ads. Great symbolism. Switch your account to our bank, you suckers.

TV personalities and ads don’t come cheap. The company has to cough up the money to buy that kind of promotion.

So that’s why I and a lot of other people with “sensitive incomes” (to use the latest euphemism) have to keep a minimum of $100 in our accounts or take a $10 hit each month. To some of you readers, a ten spot isn’t much. But you’re not income sensitive, are you?

But you might be if the banking system keeps heading towards self-destruction, lured by greed while ignoring the terminal signs.

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