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The Best and Worst Banks For Fees 

By BankFoxStaff -- posted June 17, 2009

Few things annoy people more about their banks than fees, especially when they’re charged on deposit accounts. But are some banks better than others when it comes to fees or are all banks generally the same? According to data from the FDIC, it turns out that some banks make A LOT more money from fees than do some other banks of similar size.

Below is a chart of the 16 banks with the most U.S. deposits, and how much they made in fees on these deposit accounts during 2008. The right-most column is a calculation of fees per $100 in deposits, and the list is sorted by this metric. (Deposits and fees are in thousands of dollars.)

Bank Name U.S. Deposits Account Fees* Fees/$100
Bank of America $754,919,971 $10,857,344 $1.44
US Bank $145,018,465 $1,597,263 $1.10
Wells Fargo Bank $308,404,000 $3,178,000 $1.03
Regions Bank $89,223,072 $862,701 $0.97
Fifth Third Bank $72,135,041 $595,034 $0.82
SunTrust Bank $113,436,778 $904,842 $0.80
RBS Citizens Bank $94,364,954 $716,435 $0.76
BB&T Bank $89,122,999 $674,417 $0.76
PNC Bank $88,175,082 $574,713 $0.65
TD Bank $76,475,518 $446,954 $0.58
Chase Bank $695,497,000 $3,976,000 $0.57
Keybank $64,220,946 $365,043 $0.57
Capital One $76,939,943 $354,905 $0.46
HSBC Bank $85,562,607 $228,110 $0.27
Citibank $240,545,000 $638,000 $0.27
ING Bank $71,769,528 $0 $0.00

On one hand, it’s astounding that Bank of America took in about $10.9 billion in fees on deposit accounts in 2008 – almost as much as they paid those same depositors in interest for the year ($11.6 billion). Also astounding is that they averaged more than double the fees per $100 deposited of the remaining 15 banks ($1.44 versus $.65).

On the other hand, it’s not surprising that the banks that rely on a large and expensive branch presence like Bank of America would have to make much more in fees than banks that get more of their deposits through the internet or other branchless methods as do ING, Citibank, and HSBC. Bank of America does have more than 5,000 branches, thousands more than any of the other banks on the list.

Nevertheless, it’s clear that when comparing fees for savings accounts and checking accounts, not all banks are created equal, so customers should look closely and weigh the fees, features, and conveniences of each bank to figure out the best fit for them.

* According to FDIC data, account fees include monthly maintenance charges, fees for deposits and withdrawals, fees for early account closings, fees for inactive accounts, insufficient funds fees, stop payment fees, certifying check fees, and similar services.

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Interesting - please keep this type of content coming.

Thank you

Posted by billm -- Jun 18, 2009 11:59 AM

It would be interesting to see a fees per bank location statistic as well.

Bank of America recouping as much in fees and penalties as they paid out in interest seems somewhat unreal.

No Wonder Chase Bank is trying to catch up by raising the monthly minimum payment on over a million of their most loyal and always pay on time customers who had special low interest rate credit card loans.

This just proves my point that as soon as one bank gets out of line, the others will follow. So Chase Bank is not stopped it will have a cascading affect onto the rest of the banking industry.

Posted by info -- Jul 6, 2009 10:21 AM

bank of america will rip-off anybody, even a dead man. beware!!!

Posted by solo -- Oct 1, 2009 10:20 AM


Posted by gtogarrison -- Oct 1, 2009 11:43 PM

i hope someone post and sends this in e-mail form all over the country! I hope everyone will take all their money out of BOA and put their oney into local small banks and credit unions, support their community and give the big Banks a message. A loud message by americans that care1 I was told just a week ago that I did NOT have FREEDOM of SPEECH in HER BANK at a Branch in WILmington NC! I was definetley insulted, and should every Veteran and American alive!

Posted by castone56 -- Oct 10, 2009 9:22 AM

It is well-known that Bank of America structures its banking card transactions in such a way as to maximize the amount of fees it collects. In fact, there has been an ongoing class action suit against B of A for its practices. Does that mean they have stopped? Absolutely not! B of A continues to take advantage of the fact that most americans don't "balance" their checking accounts or even write down most of their transactions. And most people rely on their (reputable) banks to treat them fairly with respect to their debit cards and checking accounts. Meanwhile, B of A holds back certain transactions (i.e. it does not show the transactions as "pending" even though it knows they are pending) for 4-7 days, giving the innocent customer who relies on their balance as stated online or at an ATM to be accurate, ample opportunity to overdraft their account, at which point B of A jumps in and whacks them for a $35 fee for each transaction in the interim. What a sleazy practice!

Posted by progersny -- Dec 16, 2009 12:03 PM

By the way, castone56, you do not have "freedom of speech" in a bank any more than you have it in my house. You have freedom of speech only in public areas and even then it may be limited. If you go into a bank branch and say something they don't like, they have every right to throw you out - you do not have any right to come on to their property and say anything you like.

Posted by progersny -- Dec 16, 2009 12:07 PM

Any suggestions for a good bank for to maintain a business account?

Posted by jacquelynmullan -- Feb 23, 2010 6:11 PM

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