The entire financial-services industry shot itself in the foot with free checking.
Free checking taught customers that they should not pay any fees for the services they receive from banks and other financial companies. The attitude is, “Why should I pay to access my own money?” Since these same customers may also be some of the people who work at the regulatory agencies, it is not hard to see how this attitude would start shaping the regulatory climate.
On Jan. 26, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a “Request for Information Regarding Fees Imposed by Providers of Consumer Financial Products or Services.” The Bureau made up for the bland title in its press release, saying the request was the start of an “an initiative to save households billions of dollars a year by reducing exploitative junk fees charged by banks and financial companies.”
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