Friday, April 24, 2009

Banks: Fees, Fees and Damned Fees

Is your bank sucking the life out of you? Using the money you entrust to them to pay outrageous bonuses to fat cat execs and then feeing you to death every time you turn around? And if you can't pay your fees do they charge you a fee for not paying your fees and turn you in to the credit bureau? Never fear, your government is coming to a banking center near you.

Matthew Vadum at The American Spectator writes that President Obama called various bankers in and told them that they could either voluntarily play nice or the government would take matters in to their own hands. I doubt anyone will shed a tear for the banks. After all, banks have long used fees to plump up the bottom to the detriment of their customers.

This is simply the government's way of increasing its sway over a private industry under the pretense of aiding the little guy. As the government exerts more control on the nation's banking system individuals will find that their financial options are decreased. However, this doesn't mean that customers should sit back and allow their banks to continue to abuse them.

Banks have gotten away with charging high interest rates on loans while paying low interest rates on deposits and feeing their customers right and left because they have convinced the public that they represent the only game in town. This simply isn't true. Customers do not need the government to ride in a white horse and save them from the big bad banks. Customers need to put the free market system and competition to work for them.

I began working in the banking industry in 1986. I have been employed by a credit union for ten years. As someone who knows both sides of the story, let me tell you a secret. Banks will take your business for granted. Credit unions will compete for your business. Shop for a financial institution, study, compare. You don't need the government for that.

h/t The Other McCain

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