Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

News Now

CU System
Survey: Banks' No-fee Checking Accounts Drop Since 2009
FOSTER CITY, Calif. (8/20/13)--The percentage of banks offering free checking dropped again in the first half of the year, a clear indication that credit unions remain the smarter choice for fee-conscious consumers.

Less than 30.31% of banks surveyed had no monthly maintenance fee--the lowest percentage since 2009, when MoneyRates.com launched its Bank Fees Survey. That figure is a drop from 36.6% recorded at the end of 2012.  In 2011, roughly 34.7% reported charging no fees--the lowest percentage until now. 

Online banks were more likely to have fee-free maintenance of checking accounts (78.95%) than brick and mortar banks (27.70%), findings that were attributed by the report to the lower overhead costs of online banks.  The average monthly service fee for a checking account was $12.43.

Not only are fewer banks offering free checking, they have increased the fees they charge for overdrafts, said MoneyRates.com.  The average overdraft fee rose in 2013 to $31.60, compared with $30.01 at year-end 2012.

If a checking account customer overdrafts an account three times within a year, the charge would be $243.96 in monthly and overdraft fees for that year, said MoneyRates.com.

According to the Credit Union National Association's 2013-2014 CUNA Fees Report, there is no contest on where consumers can go to avoid paying checking fees: 82% of credit unions surveyed offered free checking in 2012, similar to previous fees reports.

MoneyRates.com also found that the size of the financial institution also affected whether a consumer would pay a checking account fee, but the difference wasn't as great as the difference between online and traditional banks. Large banks charger higher monthly and ATM fees than smaller and medium-sized counterparts and are less likely to offer free checking. Overdraft fees tend to be lowest at large banks and highest at small banks, with medium-sized banks in the middle, said the study.

The survey includes no credit union data. Instead, it is based on the MoneyRates Index, a sampling of 100 banks consisting of the 50 largest U.S. retail banks by deposit and 50 smaller banks.
RSS print
News Now LiveWire
#NewsNow: @CUNA seeks comment on #FinCEN customer due diligence proposal. http://t.co/l1cowIHBNB
7 minutes ago
NCUA announces free webinar, 'Merger Best Practices,' to be offered on Wed., Sept. 17, 2014,2 p.m. ET. 2 register: http://t.co/7NaPNVuG4u
33 minutes ago
#creditunion loan growth continues at pace not seen in years, says @CUNA's monthly estimates. See #NewsNow http://t.co/L1dBFQE5gd
44 minutes ago
September is National Preparedness Month. Read how your CU can get ready in #NewsNow #NPM @AgilityRecovery @Readygov
8 29 ago
Bay Area #creditunions featured in @SFBusinessTimes article http://t.co/SE7W81Ulia
8 29 ago