| May 6, 2011

Banks now implementing more charges and fees

Many consumers who want to reduce their credit card debt may soon have more difficulty doing so, as the nation’s major financial institutions are imposing more fees and higher interest rates ahead of a proposed rule from the Federal Reserve Board.

The nation’s largest banks have warned that many new ways of driving revenues would be added to consumer accounts if a new limit for debit card transaction fees is passed, but many have done so preemptively, according to a report from CNN Money. For example, some have added higher penalty interest rates – Bank of America’s will soon be nearly 30 percent – or else tacked on annual fees for previously free accounts.

Other banks have eliminated popular programs like those for debit rewards, which cost them a substantial amount, the report said. In addition, JPMorgan Chase has also considered placing a limit on the value of a consumer’s debit card purchase.

The Federal Reserve rule would cut the debit card transaction fee banks can charge to just 12 cents, down more than 70 percent from the current average of 44 cents.

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