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Banks Boosting ATM, Checking Account Overdraft Fees

/ Source: Associated Press

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Banks are reaping bigger fees whenever customers overdraw their checking accounts or use ATMs that are not affiliated with their lender, a new survey shows. The average fee for using an out-of-network ATM climbed 5 percent over the past year to a new high of $4.35 per transaction, according to a survey released Monday by Bankrate.com. Overdraft fees also surged, rising on average over the past 12 months to $32.74. That's the 16th consecutive record high, the firm said.

Checking account fees have been increasing as lenders adjust to federal banking laws and regulations enacted after the 2008 financial crisis. Among the changes: limits on when banks can charge overdraft fees on ATM and debit card transactions and a reduction in the fees that banks charge merchants for each customer who uses credit or debit cards for their purchases. Lenders have responded by hiking overdraft and ATM fees, as well as increasing how much money customers must maintain in the bank to avoid checking account fees.

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-- The Associated Press

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