The banks are back! They’re paying out bonuses and raking in profits, we hear. But just how did they bounce back so fast?
Have you noticed a little extra being trimmed off the top of your account these days? Let’s take Bank of America—Forbes notes that they’re testing a new “fee structure” for formerly-free checking, adding $6 to $25 to their take of your money each month.
The banks have been adding fees to recoup profits lost under the regulations in last year’s Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Of course, you can escape the fees by maintaining a high balance—so once again, the fees hit those who can least afford them.
Chase, Wells Fargo and Citi are also hiking their fees.
Conveniently, while they’re skimming fees from you, they’re also neatly avoiding paying taxes back—in tax dollars that could be used to rebuild the economy the banks drove into a ditch. Bank of America paid nothing in taxes in 2009—a big zero—and while they’re one of the worst offenders, bad enough to be the targets of the first round of US Uncut protests around the country this past weekend, they’re not the only ones.
Taxes and fees for us, profits and bonuses for the banksters. Is this the new American Dream? There’s one solution to it, though, and that’s to move your money—and if you’re interested in more information about that, we have a link right here.
The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv and editor of At The Tea Party, out now from OR Books. GRITtv broadcasts weekdays on DISH Network and DIRECTv, on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter and be our friend on Facebook.