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CHICAGO (CBS) — A new analysis increasingly finds there’s no such thing as free checking.
WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the 15th annual survey by Bankrate.com finds that to avoid a monthly fee, bank customers now have to maintain an average minimum balance of $723 in accounts that pay no interest.
That’s up 23 percent over last year.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger Reports
And those who do pay fees on checking accounts are being charged 25 percent more than last year.
Fees are also higher on ATMs and overdrafts.
Still, Bankrate’s Greg McBride says if you look hard enough you can still find some banking bargains.
‘There are still plenty of smaller community banks, credit unions and online banks that do offer free checking with no strings attached,” he said.
Experts say a combination of a weak economy, low interest rates and tougher government regulations are moving banks to increase their fees.