HIGHTOWER: "Miscellaneous" Bank Fees

There never has been a warm spot in the hearts of Americans for bankers. But these days, that normal chill has become an icy deep freeze, as local banks have become tentacles of powerful, national, corporatized bureaucracies seemingly intent on squeezing every last dime they can out of us customers.Institutions that used to pride themselves on service, now have plastic signs on their facades and actually have staffers at the front door of their lobbies telling depositors to use the ATM machine outside, rather than bother the tellers.You can still get service at a bank, but you'll pay ... and pay ... and pay. To open an account, check on your account, put money in, take money out -- fees, fees, fees at every step. Fees have become the hottest profit center for banks, and the greatest ripoff of consumers.There are so many fees that banks now print brochures listing them. Here's one from Bank One, the giant bank holding company based in Ohio. Labeled "Miscellaneous Fees," it lists 26 categories of tariffs it levies on its customers. There are fees for depositing coins, for using a counter check, for getting a duplicate of your monthly statement, for ... well, for everything.Here's their Account Reconciliation Fee, $25-an-hour, for the bank to correct their errors in your account. Want to put your cash in their bank? It's a dollar per thousand bucks if you drop it off in the night deposit, a buck-and-a-half if you hand it to them over the counter. If you use a canvas bag to deposit cash, there's a $2 handling fee; if you use a plastic bag, there's a different handling fee, depending on the bag selected. I wonder what they charge if you use one of those plastic supermarket bags?Fed up and want to close your account? Fine, but there's a $15 fee ... sucker!This is Jim Hightower saying ... Shouldn't today's bankers have to wear ski-masks?Source:Miscellaneous fees brochure. Bank One. June 1995 Rev.Contact us directly at: hightower@essential.org

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