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Durbin Amendment leading to more, higher bank fees

As part of an effort to recoup losses resulting from the Dodd-Frank Act’s Durbin Amendment, banks have turned to imposing new fees in addition to raising pre-existing fees.

Some consumer groups have warned that banks will begin charging fees for deposits, money transfers, account closings and online bill payment services. Fees will also be raised for certain services like overdraft protection, credit card usage and service charges. These new fees will show up as a debit item on statements and create billions in revenue for banks, Associated Attorneys reports.

Banks have made the argument to Congress that the fees are necessary for their survival, noting mounting regulations like the Durbin Amendment that reduce the interchange fee revenue that the institutions previously generated through debit card usage.

Some banks announced last year that they would begin imposing a monthly fee for debit card usage, but withdrew those plans due to public outrage. A Javelin Strategy and Research survey found that close to six million consumers switched to local community banks and credit unions rather than sticking with the larger banks that intended to charge the fee, according to Associated Attorneys.

The interchange fee – commonly known as a swipe fee – is the amount a bank can charge a merchant to process a debit card transaction through its network. Previously set at 42 cents, Congress halved the fee to 21 cents, arguing that the cost at 42 cents would ultimately be absorbed by the consumer.

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