10 Tips to Avoiding Paying Annoying Bank Fees

Daniel Bortz, U.S. News & Worl

08/15/2012 08:00 AM
Total Views: 4173
Do you know what bank fees you're paying? Many banks charge fees for behaviors that customers don't realize are costing them money. Among them are foreign transaction fees and, perhaps most surprisingly, fees for receiving paper statements.

Nessa Feddis, vice president and senior counsel at the American Bankers Association, says banks are imposing such fees because they're offering more services to the consumer—and these services cost the banks money. "When people say the number of potential fees has increased, it's kind of disingenuous," Feddis says. "We had limited services years 30 of 50 years ago—there were no debit cards, no ATMs, no online banking—so there were less fees."

However, according to a 2011 Pew study, banks do not provide important policies and fee information in a concise and easy-to-understand format, making it difficult for customers to compare account terms and conditions among banks. An update to the Pew study this year found that the length of disclosure statements forchecking accounts has decreased, but it's still at a median of 69 pages long. "They're still very dense, hard to read, and hard to understand," says Susan Weinstock, director of Pew's Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project.

Read more: http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2012/08/10/10-annoying-bank-feesand-how-to-avoid-them#ixzz23cgXjvR2