05/12/2011 - After the financial sector imploded, Congress passed sweeping legislation designed to protect consumers from egregious bank charges. And yet, just a few years later, consumers are paying more for checking accounts, getting less for their debit card purchases and, some say, signing up for expensive "protection" programs just to stop a torrent of bank solicitations.
Already the government has worked to close some of the loopholes banks have found. In the wake of the CARD Act, which limited credit card interest rate increases and the total fees card companies can charge among other things, banks tested the new limits with new, potentially lucrative promotional strategies and processing fees. Regulators cried foul, and as of October, those moves will become off-limits too.
But some of these fees may be here for a while and tough to avoid, experts say. They primarily target checking accounts the most basic staple of household banking, held by some 90% of American households, according to the Pew Health Group.
Read the full article Bank Fees Attack: The Sequel on the Smartmoney.com Web site.