BANK ROBBERY: ATM FEES

Wednesday, April 22, 1992   |   Posted by Jim Hightower
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Get ready, I'm about to hit you with a cuss word: "Banker." Greedhead bankers are gobbling up the fattest profits in American history -- taking nearly $49 BILLION in profits from us last year. They're getting fatter than a butcher's dog simply because our so-called banking "regulators" are letting them rob us in broad daylight. Regulators look the other way while bankers"one) lower what they pay you to put your money in their banks and,"two) hold-up what they charge you to borrow money from their banks. Today, for example, a banker is paying you a paltry 3-percent for a money-market deposit, and charging you a princely 18 percent for your credit-card charges. Bonnie and Clyde never had it this easy. Now here they come waving a new hold-up weapon: fees. Open an account, use your account, ask about your account, close your account -- fee, fee, fee, fee. Want to talk to a teller? There's even a fee for that. In 1990, there were 96 different bank fees . . . today, there are 250 kinds of fees, withdrawing $15 Billion a year from our pockets. You don't even have to go into the bank to be robbed. They hit you at the ATM machine, which used to be free. Now, you're charged twice every time you use it -- once by your bank, and again by the bank that owns the machine. There s even a [quote] "dormant card fee" -- a charge for not using your ATM card often enough! "Oh," say the bankers, "we have to charge a lot because ATMs are so expensive to run." Liars. Consumer watchdog Ralph Nader has found that for every dollar you pay in ATM fees . . . the bank makes 81-cents in pure profit. Bankers. Shouldn't they have to wear ski masks when they rob us? This is Jim Hightower --- and that s my take

Rise in ATM fees seen Monday" by Earl Golz. Austin American-Statesman, March 31, 1996. "Bank-fee proliferation makes one nostalgic..." by Molly Ivins. Austin American-Statesman, March 27, 1996. "ATM Profits Soar, yet Banks Now May Hit Consumers with Double Feed" by Janice Shields. Report by the Center for Study of Responsive Law, Washington, DC, May 26, 1995. "Bank Fees, Bank Robbery" Hightower Radio Commentary, Feb. 29, 1996

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