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Banks Imposing Higher Fees

April 19, 2006|From the Associated Press

NEW YORK — The cost of overdrawing your checking account has gone up again, according to a study of bank fees released Tuesday.

Bankrate.com said a survey of banks and thrifts in the nation's 25 largest markets found that the average fee for a bounced check rose to $27.04 this spring from $26.90 last fall.

That's the second-highest on record, behind the average $27.13 a year ago, according to Bankrate.com, an online financial information service based in North Palm Beach, Fla.

The survey involving 248 institutions also found that surcharges had risen on automated teller machines to $1.60 this spring from $1.54 last fall.

Two years ago, ATM surcharges -- which are imposed when consumers use ATMs that aren't owned by their bank -- averaged $1.32, Bankrate.com said.

Fees have been rising in recent years because financial institutions have found them to be a more predictable form of income than interest charges, which can rise and fall as market conditions change.

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