New Numbers: Banks Post Profit, So Why Are They Charging Us Again?

Financial numbers for the "third quarter" are out, and the banks claiming poverty to hike fees are facing--profits?

Here's Bank of America, via Reuters: " Bank of America Corp reported a third-quarter profit, helped by accounting gains and asset sales, though the bank's main businesses showed signs of weakness as lending profit fell and expenses rose."

And here's Citigroup, via the Times: "Citigroup announced a third-quarter profit of $3.8 billion, or $1.23 a share, beating analyst consensus estimates of 81 cents a share. That represented a 74 percent increase from a year ago, when the bank announced a quarterly profit of $2.2 billion, or 72 cents a share."

Now in both these stories and others, you'll read that investors are worried about the banks' "long-term fiscal health" for a variety of reasons, a "hangover" from the mortgage crisis among them.

But given the fact that profits are indeed being earned, it's certainly reasonable to ask why these banking behemoths are in such dire straits as to impose new fees on customers--or to arrest those citizens who peacefully enter a bank to close their accounts. Or to lay off thousands of people, and so on.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at October 18, 2011, 4:27am

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