Only 4 years ago, the government made use of taxpayer’s cash to pay $45 million to rescue financial institutions of America from failing like the Bank of America. Despite that noble effort, this financial institution has been implicated in many investigations for deceptive financial doings ranging from foreign-exchange to home loans. Consequently, it has paid millions in litigation. Now, the second-largest bank in this nation in terms of assets needs to grab $4.95 from individuals who are barely making it in this economy and are so desperate to get a bank account that they will accept one without any ancillary services. Is this just a sign of frugal banking practices or a sign of something larger taking place, perhaps like a tiny zit that becomes malignant. There is something weird going on here.
B of A has offered a checkless checking account for an established fee of $4.95. However, this very basic account will not allow overdrafts. It’s a modest charge targeted for low-income clients who are simply in dire need of a basic checking account. While this is not nearly pricey enough to alarm anyone, particularly customers or legislators, this small change in their banking strategy could hide a a greater threat about the banking sector and the economic climate itself.
First, of all, here is why it’s really odd:
1. In today’s financial market, no frill accounts are typically complimentary. As a matter of fact, free checking is now the norm.
* Since 2011, Bank of America has been trying to reintroduce the idea of a basic banking fee. The experiment began by charging bank customers in three states-Arizona, Georgia, and Massachusetts-a flat fee ranging between $6 to $9 for a simple checking account. The idea did not work very well and the pilot program was scratched. In 2012, they tried it again. This time 10 million customers complained vociferously about it.
* There are no waivers. While megabanks do have payable accounts, they likewise have certain conditions to waive the cost– like direct deposits from employers or keeping a certain checking account balance.
Why is a multibillion dollar financial institution asking low-end consumers for petty cash? Why is it seeking a policy that that most other financial institutions consider too silly to think about? Is it from petty reasoning, unmitigated piggishness or hopeless necessity? Truthfully, our only hope as Americans is to not try and figure out this insanity but move our commitment from printed fiat money back to the only true cash, which is God’s Money– Gold and Silver.