Citibank hits checking accounts with fee

Oct. 1, 2011 at 9:10 AM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. banking giant Citigroup Inc. said this week it would charge $15 per month for checking account holders who kept a balance below $6,000.

The firm's move comes on the heels of Bank of America's announcement this week that it would charge $5 for most debit card holders and sparked at least one desertion, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Cheryl Holt of Burbank, Calif., said she was "on my way out the door right now … off to start a new account at my nearest credit union."

"Should have done it years before," she added.

Holt said she received a letter with an "absurd salutation," that said, "Customers like you have told us that what they want from their banks are simple options and great rewards. We heard you and are writing to let you know that we are making some changes to your EZ Checking Package."

That said, the bank dropped the $180 per year bomb.

Industry analysts have said for months that banks would be forced to create revenue to make up for the Federal Reserve Board's policy capping fees financial firms can charge customers when they use their cards at stores.

The cap on the so-called "swipe fee" started Saturday.

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