Are There Any Laws Governing What Fees A Bank Can Charge Their Customers?

Are there any laws governing what fees a bank can charge their customers? There are many laws governing the banking industry but the FDIC does not write them. Virtually all bank accounts attract fees and...

Virtually all bank accounts attract fees and charges, and as a consumer, you should know that there are laws in place governing how much a bank may charge for its services, and that your bank carries the legal responsibility to inform you about fees related to your account.

When most people think of banking laws their thoughts turn to the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). The FDIC has many functions, one of which is insuring your money in the rare instance a bank collapses and goes out of business.

There are many laws governing the banking industry but the FDIC does not write them.

The laws are statutory laws regulated by both your state and federal government. They are complex and vary from state to state, and hence are often difficult for the average bank customer to understand.

An important law regarding bank fees is the Truth in Savings Act, which requires all banking institutions to inform consumers of any fees associated with a deposit account before the account is opened.

Steve Twirago, a personal banker at Chase Bank says there should be no surprises. "A banker is required upon opening an account to disclose account rules and regulations and any other compliance-related information," he says.

If you are unclear on what fees specifically apply to your account at any time after opening your account all you have to do is ask someone.

"A banker is required to disclose all applicable information pertaining to their account, including rules and fees," Twirago explains.

Fees can be in the form of account overdraft, minimum balance requirements and service charges. You should know exactly what would constitute each charge and if there are ways you can avoid your monthly service charge.

Banks sometimes find it necessary to raise or change their fees, in which case they are obliged to explain the changes to you, or offer you the appropriate literature.

Twirago says, "Ask a banking representative for the most up-to-date rules and regulations. When products change, Chase will send updates to their customers as they recently did with the product line changed from Bank One to Chase."

Who is mostly likely the best person at the bank to ask about fees and laws? Twirago says your best bet is either the banking manager or a personal banker. They should be able to answer your questions. If they aren't entirely sure about something they will take the time to find out for you.

Whenever you have a complaint about your fees, you should go to your bank for help. A bank will want to do anything they can to help you and may have alternative solutions to help you avoid fees related to your account.

If you need to talk to someone about a complaint, Twirago says, "A banking representative such as the branch manager or a personal banker can address concerns about fees."

The more you know about the laws governing bank fees the smarter you will be with your money. Your bank is your best source for information and they will be happy to assist you whenever you need help.

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