Archive for the ‘Financial Industry’ Category

No, it’s not the latest Fox “News” special. But MSN Money has an interesting article up this morning discussing the ways banks are nickel and diming us to death.  Included in the article, with tips on how to avoid the evil lurking at your big (or even smaller) bank:

  1. Checks clear almost immediately; deposits take days — this is one of my biggest pet peeves and I had to deal with it last week. I have banked with Bank of America for over 10 years but I am increasingly frustrated with this policy. My sister wanted to write me a check to cover some money she owed me but we knew it wouldn’t clear for 5 days.  Instead, she went through some hoops to get that $200 to me in cash. Frustrating for all, to say the least.
  2. Stacking the deck against you — this one burns me to no end and unfortunately I’ve got in this scrape a few times:
  3. Most big banks, and many smaller ones, process checks that arrive the same day in order of their size, with the largest check processed first. Banks say they do this to increase the odds that consumers’ most important checks, such as mortgage and car payments, get paid. Consumer advocates say it’s simply a way to jack up overdraft fees, which make up the majority of account service charges that banks collect. Here’s how it works: Let’s say you have $500 in your account, and you write checks for $10, $55 and $450. If the bank processed from smallest to largest, only one overdraft fee would be generated. By processing them from largest to smallest, two bounce fees can be collected.

  4. Fat fees for using personal-finance software — ugh. I loaded Microsoft Money this weekend but haven’t yet started using it. Not sure I’m going to like what I find.

Our local credit union is coming to my workplace in two weeks. I’m definitely going to be chatting them up.