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Free checking being wiped out by Dodd-Frank’s burden

Washington, October 4, 2012 - The following article was published this week on the website

Free checking being wiped out by Dodd-Frank’s burden

The average required minimum balance for free checking rose to $723 this year, data reported by showed on Monday.

Banks, in response to the economic climate and new regulations like Dodd-Frank and the Durbin Amendment, have been forced to raise checking fees, which hit record highs in 2012. As a result of the fees, free checking with no minimum balance and no monthly fee is becoming increasingly rare, Bankrate’s 15th annual checking survey revealed, reports.

“Checking accounts that are free on a stand-alone basis continue to diminish,” Greg McBride,’s senior financial analyst, said, reports. “But a free checking account is still within reach of the majority of Americans, whether by getting the fee waived through direct deposit or moving to a bank or credit union that still offers free checking.”

The average monthly fee for a checking account that pays no interest rose 25 percent in 2012 to a record high of $5.48. Average monthly fees for an interest-bearing checking account rose four percent from 2011 to a record $14.75.

Bankrate reported that only 39 percent of non-interest-bearing checking accounts were free of any fees or minimum-balance requirement, which was six percent lower than 2011. A total of 56 percent of the 39 percent of free, stand-alone-non-interest checking accounts had no monthly fee if the account holder agrees to certain conditions, including direct deposit.

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