Bank fees further erode free checking accounts

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Associated Press

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 24 at 12:02 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — Truly free checking accounts are becoming rarer as banks add more fees to boost their profits.

Financial data publisher Bankrate.com says a survey shows only 39 percent of non-interest checking accounts are free to all customers. That's down from 45 percent last year and 76 percent in 2009.

Among other fees, the average monthly service fee on checking accounts is a record $5.48, up 25 percent from the Bankrate survey a year ago. It says the average fee charged by an ATM operator to a non-customer rose 4 percent to a record $2.50.

The survey suggests customers may be near a breaking point.

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