Bank fees: Are you getting charged?

We're used to putting more and more money in our savings account, but oddly enough today, the banks don't really want that money. That's showing through the addition of bank fees.

An e-mail from Wells Fargo came as a shock to children's author Bobbi Hill.

"It told me this wonderful little surprise -- that my free checking account -- gone! Vanished! It's just not going to be there anymore," she said.

Instead, Hill will have to pay up if she wants to keep her account. The bank she's used for more than 25 years was changing the rules.

"I'm going to have to pay $120 dollars a year to let the bank park my money in their accounts," Hill said.

"They're trying to make more money off of fees, so interestingly, they're making money off those people who kind of live paycheck to paycheck," said San Diego State University accounting professor Martha Doran.

Doran says people are saving more these days, but that's not necessarily good news for the banks.

"They aren't in the business really to hold on to money, and that's what's happened to them," she said. "They're holding these pools and amounts of money because they don't yet know where to invest it that they feel they'll make more money."

Until that changes, expect banks to look for other ways to collect money from their customers, and expect customers like Bobbi Hill to take their business somewhere else.

"I went ahead and posted it on Facebook and Tweeted it and got a big response from people who were going to do the same thing that I'm going to do, which is close my accounts," Hill said.

This could all change when interest rates come back up.

Here's what some of you are saying about this story on the CNY Central Facebook page:

Kathy Lawler: "Banks are profiting .... the low this necessary...I would be seeking alternatives for my banking institution business..In addition, fees for savings accounts?? don't figure??"

Bill Colclough: "Want to charge higher fees? Maybe it's time to put your money under your mattress."

Kelly Cardwell-Roman: "...this is the first month in 10 that I haven't been charged extra withdrawal fees just to live! My husband was unemployed all last year and we just barely scraped by. Even with sitting down with our local bank reps there was nothing they could do and that $25 extra bucks for a bill transfer hurt! He's re-employed (HURRAY)! But more fees means the few dollars in savings we've acquired in the past month in his minimum wage job will disappear!"

Do you have a savings account? Have you noticed any changes in your bank's policy? Have you thought about closing your account? Leave your thoughts below.

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