BofA to change checking fees

June 15, 2011 at 7:20 PM
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CHARLOTTE, Mo., June 15 (UPI) -- Bank of America said it was moving customers to a new checking account system with more options, but higher hurdles to qualify for free checking.

The bank said it would move 530,000 customers over to a system called Enhanced checking in July and August and the remainder of its accounts nationwide to the new system by Dec. 31, 2012, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

In the old account system, MyAccess, customers who made direct deposits each month or kept an average balance of $1,500 qualified for free checking, which otherwise cost $8.95 per month.

Enhanced checking will be free if account holders make $2,000 worth of deposits a month or keep an average total balance of $5,000.

Customers could also use the bank's credit card at least once a month to avoid a $15 monthly fee.

In a new option called eBanking, BofA said customers could avoid a $12 monthly fee if they have account statements delivered online and make transactions either online or through an ATM, the Globe said.

Analysts say banks are trying to find ways to make up lost fees that resulted from a new credit card law and the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill.

"As some doors may be closing, institutions are looking for new ways to make up that income," Consumers Union senior policy counsel Pamela Banks told the Globe.

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