Nancy Giles: I'm charged up over bank fees

Contributor Nancy Giles is all charged up.. about bank fees...

Does this seem fair to you?

Bank of America, the recipient of $45 billion of bailout money from the federal government (meaning all of us taxpayers) is thanking us by charging its customers (some of those same taxpayers) an extra $5.00 a month to use their debit card.

That's sixty more dollars a year. Multiply that by millions of customers and that's a bundle.

But before you get mad at Bank of America, let's walk in their shoes for a moment.

They say they HAD to charge those fees because of the new Durbin amendment which limits the fees that banks can charge merchants when you use your debit card.

So BofA will make a little less money - and where does the bank go to pick up the slack? To their customers, of course!

Meaning us, the suckers whose taxes the federal government used to bail them out in the first place.

[I don't think this is the "Circle of Life" that "The Lion King" was talking about.]

I mean, haven't the banks SAVED money by phasing out tellers and encouraging online banking? So why should we have to pay to do the bank's work?

PS: Since Bank of America is planning to lay off another 30,000 employees, by their own logic, even MORE fees are just around the corner.

Naturally, other banks are joining in with their own debit card fees, or fees if your balance gets too low, or raising whatever fees they're already charging you.

BofA is clever - their commercials play up a "cash-back-when-you-use-your-credit-card" program. Don't be fooled. Chase had a debit card rewards program until they eliminated it. And I am bitter.

Just last month, two Bank of America executives were forced out but still walked away with over $11 million in severance pay - plus health coverage benefits for a year! Ka-Ching!

No wonder an online petition opposing their new fees gained almost 300,000 signatures, and this response from a Bank of America spokesperson: "We plan to implement the fee in early 2012."

Who needs banks? It's not like we're earning interest, and good luck getting a mortgage.

I want a system that I can rely on, where I can deposit and withdraw my money anytime I want, without paying a fee.

These days it seems like the safest bet going is an old-school mattress, under which I will stash my cash.

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