NEW YORK (1/12/12)--Ways for consumers to fight back against escalating fees at banks--including switching to a credit union--were featured on "Fighting Against Bank Fees," a segment that aired Tuesday night on ABC News and in which Consumer Reports gave advice.
Most banks now charge a fee for non-interest checking accounts, said Consumer Reports on Eyewitness News on Channel 7 WABC-New York. Most of those accounts were free two years ago. ATM fees and overdraft charges also are setting record highs.
Consumers can combat this hike in fees, said Consumer Reports. If consumers are assessed a fee, they should ask their bank to waive it. If the bank refuses, they should move their accounts. Consumers who decide to move their money out of banks should consider a big credit union, said Consumer Reports' Kim Kleman. The fees for basic checking at major credit unions are on average 42% lower than at big banks.
"Credit unions used to serve just small groups," Kleman said. "But that has changed. Now it's pretty easy to find one you can join."
Consumer Reports also lists some steps to take before switching accounts to make for an easier transition.
To view the segment, use the link.