ABA Survey Shows Majority of Bank Customers Pay Nothing for Monthly Bank Services

Oct 07, 2010, 16:12 ET from American Bankers Association

53% avoid all fees; 67% pay $3 or less

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The majority of bank customers continue to pay nothing in bank fees, according to a recent survey by the American Bankers Association.   Sixty-seven percent of consumers spend $3 or less in monthly bank fees for services such as checking account maintenance and ATM access.  Fifty-three percent of customers pay nothing.

"Bank customers today are getting one of the best deals around – checking and savings accounts for minimal or no cost.  And these survey results show consumers are getting better than ever at managing their finances to keep service fees low," said Nessa Feddis, ABA vice president, senior federal counsel and retail banking expert.

The annual telephone survey of more than 1,000 randomly-selected consumers was conducted for ABA by Ipsos Public Affairs, an independent market research firm, on August 14-15, 2010.  

When asked how much they estimate they spend on fees for banking services each month such as checking account maintenance and ATM access, consumers provided the following responses:

  • 53 percent said they pay nothing;
  • 14 percent said $3 or less;
  • 9 percent said $4 to $6;
  • 5 percent said $7 to $9; and
  • 14 percent said they pay $10 or more.

ABA has conducted the survey annually since 1998.

"Consumers should know that bank accounts cost little or nothing for most people," Feddis said.  "And people who keep their money in a bank can feel comfortable knowing that it's insured, can't get stolen or destroyed,  and is available to them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through multiple convenience channels," she added.

While some consumer groups focus on avoidable fees at the highest end of the spectrum, the survey clearly shows that the vast majority of bank customers manages their accounts well and keeps service charges low.

The ABA offers the following tips to help further reduce consumer banking costs:

  • Free Checking and Savings Accounts -- Most banks offer them.  
  • ATM Machines – Avoid fees by using your own bank's ATM.
  • Direct Deposit – Many checking accounts are free when your paycheck is automatically deposited each month.
  • Minimum Balance – Keep at least the minimum balance in your account.
  • Don't Overdraw – Keep track of transactions and account balances to avoid bounced check fees.  
  • Email or Text Alerts – Ask for an automatic alert when your balance falls below a certain level.

Click here to view graph.

SOURCE American Bankers Association