I don't think anybody needed to get out the crystal ball to see this one coming: According to the Wall Street Journal, now that the new credit card laws are in effect that all but prevent financial institutions from pricing credit card usage based on risk, banks are looking to recoup revenue losses by spreading costs to well-behaved checking account holders. (See Robin Sidel's and Dan Fitzpatrick's, ”End is Seen to Free Checking“).
I recall years ago in high school when I first opened a checking account. I paid a small monthly fee and did so for many years. But as banks proliferated and competed for customers, those fees begin falling away. (Alas, the
beauty of competition and consumer choice.) But now that government has decided that consumers need more protection from something or another, they have stepped in to regulate bank card issuers. Most of us are credit card holders and may benefit from some of the new provisions, but the perks associated with banking and borrowing are coming to an end. Isn't it ironic how that works…government passes laws designed to “benefit” consumers and they really benefit only a small select group of people (if any at all). The rest pay in some way or another. This means costs go up for ordinary checking and savings account holders, small business owners and others who just want to keep their money deposited in a place other than a mattress until they need it.
Welcome to the department of Unintended Consequences. How may I assist you today?