Monday, July 06, 2009

Obama to save the "overdrafting poor", by putting an end to Free Checking Accounts?!

Redistribution in action.

Just scare tactics from the Banks?
Is free checking on its way out?
Bank customers used to the perks of free checking accounts — unlimited check writing, online banking, debit card use and ATM access, to name a few — might have to recalibrate their expectations soon. That’s because overdraft fees, which banks use to subsidize the expense of free checking accounts, have been under fire by consumer advocacy groups. (A quick primer: You spend $8 on lunch at Burger King and pay with your debit card. But there’s only $5 in your checking account. The transaction is still approved, but the bank slaps you with a hefty overdraft fee for the privilege.)

There have already been some changes to the way banks must disclose overdraft fees on statements, but now there’s a bigger push to require institutions to obtain accountholders’ permission before charging them overdraft fees on debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals. President Obama’s proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency would likely address overdraft fees in some way.

That spells trouble for banks already hurting from the financial crisis. The bulk of revenue in bank retail deposits comes from penalty fees; economic research firm Moebs Services estimates that banks will rake in a total of $38.5 billion in overdraft revenue this year. In fact, a 2008 FDIC study concludes that 74% of all service charges on deposit accounts come from overdraft and insufficient fund fees, which typically range between $35 to $40 per incident. But there’s a small amount of consumers who shoulder most of the fee load: According to a May report from consulting firm Oliver Wyman, 68% of those fees come from just 5% of banking customers (who pay, on average, $1,614 each year). Meanwhile, 74% of customers pay no overdraft fees at all.

But with banks expecting roadblacks to fee income, some experts predict that the free-checking model might be on its way out. Aaron Fine, author of the Oliver Wyman report, recently told banking industry trade publication American Banker, “The industry has to change pretty dramatically because a substantial amount of the revenue that paid for free checking is likely to go away. That business model is not sustainable.”

Will we have an overdraft czar too?

PS. Who's the idiot that came up with that extremely negative word to describe a bureaucrat? If it was a person from the Obama opponents side - that's actually brilliant. They can go further down that line to describe federally appointed pencil pushers who tell citizens how to live their life:

Gestapo, Fuhrer, Pol Pot, Ra'is, Caesar, Executioner, Ayatola, Mullah, Wazir, Jihadi.

As in - the stimulus jihadi will make sure to eliminate all opposition. The car gestapo will increase car sales by taking care of union interests before practical business matters. The banks Fuhrer will create a bankers final solution. The community organizing ayatollah is well liked by the masses....

Or, you could simplify and use the meaning of the word in sentences:
The oppressive dictator of the economy says that despite 9.6% unemployment - hope and change is lifting everybody's spirit.

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