Beginning in May, Wells Fargo customers in Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware and Pennsylvania will begin paying a $7 monthly fee for their previously free checking accounts, the bank announced on Thursday.
The bank began charging the $7 monthly fee to accounts in 23 other states last year. Wells Fargo, based in San Francisco, said that the bank has not offered free checking accounts since 2010. A Wells Fargo spokesman said that the fee will eventually be applied to accounts in all states, but it has not been determined when as of yet, according to the Washington Post.
Customers can avoid the fee by maintaining a minimum balance of $1,500 or by direct deposits totaling at least $500 every month. If a customer opts into electronic statements, there is a $2 fee reduction.
In order to recover revenue losses resulting from the Durbin Amendment, a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act that prohibits banks from making risky investments with client money, banks have found ways to charge fees in other categories.
According to NerdWallet, customers who don’t meet minimum account balance requirements are charged, on average, $110 per year by America’s five biggest banks. The fees have incensed some consumer advocates.
“Banks don’t realize they are going to lose much more in the way of lost customers than they are going to make on these ridiculous fees,” John Tschohl, a customer service representative and bank consultant, said, the Washington Post reports.