WASHINGTON (12/28/11)--The banking environment for consumers in 2012 will likely include more fees and restrictions, according to a Dec. 21 Huffington Post article.
The article, written by Richard Barrington, described how Bank of America, in the midst of a media frenzy, backed away from plans to charge a monthly debit card fee in 2012. But banks still need to replace revenues lost to regulations and a sluggish market, he writes.
"Having learned their PR lesson, look for banks to introduce new fees more quietly, primarily by raising existing fees, cutting back on free checking accounts, or raising the minimums needed to qualify for free services," says the article. Some banks have already raised interchange fees on smaller debit card transactions to make up for revenues lost to the caps on larger transactions."
Another trend will be more restrictions on debit cards if banks can recover lost revenue from debit card interchange fees. "Look for banks to make those debit cards available to fewer customers, or to stop processing transactions from small retailers," the article says.
Other trends consumers will see include: fewer branches as banking becomes more mobile and consumers embrace online banking; more oversight as a result of increased electronic banking; and rising interest rates.
To read the article, use the link.
Credit unions will track what measures banks introduce to gain more profits and will be ready to assist consumers who find banks' actions less than consumer friendly.