Thursday, July 10, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Bank hits customer with hefty fee for slight indiscretion

DEAR HARRY: I'm totally disgusted with my bank. In my last statement, I unfortunately let my balance get $2 (you read it right, $2) below the minimum balance required for three days. They then hit me with a charge for $30 for that slip on my part. I called my branch manager to see if it could be abated, and I was told that it was a hard and fast rule to keep depositors above their minimum.

I have been with this bank for more than 10 years with no penalties or problems, and they have no means to abate the penalty?! I checked with two other banks, and found that they had similar rules. Any suggestions will be appreciated.


WHAT HARRY SAYS: I think your branch manager just did not want to act. It seems unlikely that he or she did not have that authority. However, the fine print in your bank's rules certainly listed this type of penalty, so the bank is technically right.

But who, except for folks like me, even try to read that stuff? You've tried a few other banks with bad results, so I'd like to suggest you move to a credit union. Credit unions generally have more liberal and more flexible rules. I feel certain that you can find one near you where your slip-up would not have caused you grief.


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Harry Gross Daily News Personal Finance Columnist
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