MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Free checking appears to be going the way of the free lunch at one of the country’s biggest banks, Wells Fargo.

New credit card regulations aimed at trimming consumers’ fees are costing many national banks big bucks. Many of the country’s biggest financial institutions say they’ll have to recoup the losses by adding new monthly fees.

Wells Fargo confirmed that starting June, it will raise checking account fees for new customers by $7 a month in six more states nationwide. The move followed new federal laws limiting extra credit card charges the banks claim are cutting into their profits. But this latest round of new fees will not be hitting Florida account holders just yet.

When CBS4 News asked Wells Fargo when fees could start rising in Florida, we were told in a prepared statement by Florida Regional Vice President for Corporate Communications Christina Smotryski, “Regarding your question about Florida, we plan to eventually introduce the fee for essential checking across the bank and as always will communicate with customers well in advance”.

If your bank raises its’ rates, check out your neighborhood community bank to see if it offers free checking. Also double check your local credit unions, which usually offer non-profit banking services, including free checking.

The full statement on the new checking account fees from Wells Fargo, released by Smotryski:

“Wells Fargo stopped offering free checking to new customers in 2010. A similar change for Personal Checking was introduced to existing customers in legacy Wells Fargo states in 2011. This month, we began communicating to customers in 6 Eastern states that a $7 fee /$5 with online statements will be charged for Essential Checking if the customers do not waive the fee with direct deposit or balances. The fee can be waived by maintaining a $1,500 minimum daily balance or qualifying direct deposits totaling $500 or more each statement cycle. We encourage our customers to speak with a banker if they have questions about the changes and to discuss which accounts and services best fit their financial needs. The states included are: GA, NJ, DE, CT, NY and PA.  It is always our first priority to communicate any changes to customers first, so that we have the opportunity to answer questions and help ensure they are in the right account for them. Although we are communicating to customers in these 6 states now, the fees will not be assessed until June. Regarding your question about Florida, we plan to eventually introduce the fee for Essential Checking across the bank and, as always, will communicate first with customers well in advance of any change affecting them.”

Comments (11)
  1. Julie Elliott says:

    left a long message and was lost in the shufle. Veyr upset wth your new plan of charging us gile e are putting our money in you bank. Lot’s more to say, but am not oing to rewright it all again.

  2. chris says:

    So they are taxing people who have less than $1500 in their account? I am glad I do not bank at Wells Fargo! I would promptly move my money to a local credit union if my financial institution implemented this.

  3. Jen says:

    Bye-bye Wells Fargo. Hello local credit union!

  4. Mark says:

    Yeah, sorry folks, but this is exactly what Wells wants you to do. They can care less about those folks with $100 in their acct. They’re more trouble than they’re worth. Someone who has 10k isn’t affected and won’t switch to a CU (unless in principle) and that’s what the bank wants.

  5. Anne Forsythe says:

    I am a Wells Fargo customer. I have never belonged to a credit union, but I’d better check them out! Can anyone join? Is one better than the others? Where do I start??

    1. Troy says:

      Most anyone can apply…..most credit unions were started to be used for local govt employees, state employees, etc. But with recent issues with bigger banks causing heartaches for customers, most credit unions have changed policy and are accepting new members without being under the categories I mentioned. I have been with a credit union for 10 years, and am very pleased. Your local small type credit union facility is just as safe ( actually safer in my opinion ) than Big Boy Rob us Blind Banks. Make some calls, etc. Most have option to open accts with 25.00…..and if you maintain at least the minimum in savings, and or, checking, there is no fee, not even by using their debit cards. When checking with a credit union, see how long they have been in business, if at least 10-15 years, I think you will do fine.

  6. Melinda says:

    Just closed our account there last week because of this non sense. Not only did they start charging me 7 bucks a month for my checking account, they also charged me 12.50 for using MY bounce protection account! This bounce protection account had my money in it NOT theirs! Yep they charged me for using my own money! SHAME ON YOU WELLS FARGO!

  7. Stan says:

    When the Federal government cuts out the robbery fees bankers have thought up to qualify themselves for Million dollar salaries and bonuses, it takes balls to say I am going to continue my legal theft come hell or high warter.

  8. Stan says:

    I dropped a letter off to Warren Buffet’s office recently about how badly WF is being run. The secretary I talked to when I called to see if he got the letter sakd, “We never interfere in how one of our companies does its business.

  9. Jeri says:

    I find it funny that people act like this is a suprise or something new, all large banks charge monthly service fees if you do not meet the requirements to waive the service fee. Wells Fargo offers many ways around WAIVING the monthly service fee besides having a minimum balance of 1500.00 daily. You can have direct deposit,automatic loan payments and a list of many other options. If customers would take the time to not act irrational and find out what those options are then they could make a more educated decision. People are forgetting that Wells Fargo is a business and like ALL business companies they must turn a profit. It’s like HELLO do you work for free? Wells Fargo is also very convenient they are everywhere and pretty much on every corner, they offer many other products and services. And they also are very helpful when it comes to helping out customers with their mortgage. There are many good things about the company besides focusing on a fee checking. What they failed to mention was there are ways to waive the fee. And also the fact that Wells Fargo is far from the only bank that charges fees. Credit Unions are nice although they tend to have shorter hours, less banks, and tend to only be local. Wells Fargo customer service is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week to answer concerns or questions. Get educated on the full situation before making comments

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