Debit card fees: Why the big banks want you to blame Washington, not them.

Commentary about business and finance.
March 10 2011 6:09 PM

Our Fees, but Not Our Fault

Big banks want you to know: If they have to raise your fees, blame those bureaucrats in Washington.

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You might also hear some four-eyed economist folks pointing out that our interchange fees in the United States are the highest in the industrialized world, even though we banks provide similar services. Whatever. This is the land of the free, and we charge what we can charge. And there will be some other nerds moaning about how our fee structures are regressive—giving big benefits to rich families with our fancier signature debit cards, and taxing poor ones to do it. That is beside the point.

All you need to understand is this: If this thing goes through, we are going to have to charge you higher fees. So when you lose your free checking account unless you've got $50,000 in the bank, blame your member of Congress and your local businessperson—not me.

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Your friend,

Big Bank

P.S. Next time you come in, you want to apply for a rewards card?