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The hidden taxes of the 111th Congress's regulatory spree



For over a decade, I've been at the same bank with free checking. Then, in the last year, the Democratic Congress, in its infinite wisdom, passed new laws prohibiting banks from imposing certain kinds of fees on its customers for overdrafts and the like. Isn't that consumer-friendly?

Except banks were basically running their business off of the fees that Congress has outlawed, and can no longer provide cheap services to the financially responsible. So now my bank is refusing to offer me free checking. I'm going to face $15/month (plus $0.50/check and $1.50/ATM transaction) charges if I stay with Citibank. So I'm either out $200/year, or I need to waste a day of my life finding a new bank, negotiating with numerous vendors over all my automatic bill payments, and getting my automatic paycheck deposits fixed. Thanks, Congress!

Once upon a time, Commerce Bank offered to help you switch to their bank by promising to take care of all those transactions costs for you. Which is perhaps why they're out of business now. Can anyone recommend a bank that offers free checking and makes this switch easy? Drop me an email.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy
rmangual@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.