How Do They Sleep at Night? Part 4 – Banks and their Usurious Fees

My Dad went to Las Vegas last week and did a wee bit of winning. When he got back to his L.A. home he deposited the money, about $9000 (woo hoo!), into his business account there.

He was very surprised to discover that his bank had charged him a service fee. Apparently, he deposited too much money with them.

Yeah. See, they charge .30 per $100 for any deposit greater than $5000. Apparently “their exposure is greater.” Whatever that means.

A bank. That’s using his money to make money of their own. Charging him for the privilege of allowing them to do so.

Those are some pretty huge, green kahunas. And that got me thinking about other bank fees that really get my panties in a twist…

My husband walked into a branch to cash a check a friend had written to him. The teller told him there was a $5 charge to cash the check because he didn’t have an account there. “But this check is written on your bank! Why should you get my money to cash your own check?” After listening to the woman spew the company line he turned on his heel and left.

Another bank here charges you to talk to a teller. Indeed.

I’ve read that other banks are charging fees to deposit or withdraw from accounts and to transfer money between them. There are fees if you dip below a certain balance, and fees if you write too many checks. There are fees if you write too few checks.

I’ll bet some  have pay toilets.

They charge three times as much to order new checks for you than you’d pay yourself by ordering through a secondary vendor like

Don’t  even get me started on credit card fees

I understand that banks are businesses. I don’t have a problem with every fee banks charge. I’m aware of and even support fees for bounced checks. We’re all responsible to know how much money we have in our accounts, and if we blunder we need to pay the price. At the same time, a $25 charge for a $3 overdraft just seems usurious.

I’m also not completely against banks charging fees when you use an ATM that isn’t in your network. You’re paying for the convenience of not having to travel far out of your way to find your own bank. Fine. You save money on gas, so it’s almost a wash.

Apparently, though, we’re supposed to understand that the banks are also victims of the sub-prime mortgage crisis. They must raise their fees to try to make up a portion of the money they don’t have since they lost their shirts making bad loans.

Boo-hoo.  My heart breaks for ya.

Like this post? Read the other posts in this series!

See the Stretch Your Dollar Page for other money-saving ideas.


6 Responses to “How Do They Sleep at Night? Part 4 – Banks and their Usurious Fees”

  1. goodfountain Says:

    That’s so true what you are saying! I hate ridiculous bank fees. I think banks play on unsuspecting fools, who are not like your husband and will turn around and walk out.

    Good rant!!

  2. Funny about Money Says:

    Great minds in the same path: I blogged on the same subject just the other day. I used to think charging customers for speaking to a human being — some banks here are doing that, too — was really beyond the pale. But soaking you because you put TOO MUCH money in your checking account (for the bank to invest and make a profit off)????

    Time to switch to a credit union!

  3. Emily Says:

    I hate that kind of stuff! Ugh!

    Our bank randomly decided to switch our free checking account to an interest checking account and slapped us with a $20 fee for it. Um…NO. Hubby called and yelled at them until they switched it back. Their response when he called “oh, you mean you don’t want this interest checking?” like they were doing us a favor switching us to something we didn’t ask for and then charging us. Grrrr…

  4. Positive Cash Flow, Emotional Spending, Improving Credit History @ The Roundup Says:

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