7 Things Your Bank Won't Tell You

By: Prince Damin

Banks are the backbone of finance in the nation. They are the primary institutions you trust to keep your money safe.

However, sometimes your bank itself might pose a threat to your cash reserves. Here are a few things your bank will never tell you:

1. Bigger is not Always Better
You might be a proud account holder of one of the biggest banks in the nation, satisfied with the customers benefits like large network of branches, ATM service, etc. However, these candies don’t come for free. In 2006, 54 percent of the revenue of the top ten banks was generated by fee and service charges, as compared to smaller banks, who squeezed only 28 percent from the same. So large banks often mean bigger fees.

2. You Might Face a Hard Time Dealing with Overdrafts
Nearly all banks offer the facility of withdrawing money from an ATM or making purchases through debit cards, even when there is no cash left in your account to cover the costs. If you think this is a blessing, think again. You are normally not notified about the overdrawing, thus you continue spending or withdrawing. Every time you do that, you are charged with a fee of around $30.

3. We Give Commission to Employees and Tellers for Paving You to Investment Products
For sending the customers towards the investment products, an area which sells products which are not FDIC insured, the tellers get a “referral fee.” A commission is received by employees who sell non-deposit products.

4. We Don’t Mind Bouncing Cheques
The troubled economy has had losses pouring in from different sections, so the banks claw on to any revenue source they can lay their hands on. Your bouncing cheques are sunshine in winters for them. Some banks may charge you a $12 fee if you cheque is bounced. But on an average, the fee is around $26. Some institutions may even slap you with $35 fee.

5. We are not Immune to Robberies
So you think that the bank is the safest place to keep your cash in? Think again! According to the FBI, there were 10150 bank robberies in 2001. That is approximately one robbery in every 52 minutes.

6. We Might Mess Up Your Accounts if we Merge with Another Bank
According to SNL Financial, the period from 1990-2003 witnessed as many as 4800 bank mergers. Mergers won’t bother you much except for the new cheque books, ATM cards etc. However, sometimes mergers may result in lost accounts, lost deposits, dropped level of services etc.

7. Do You Really Expect Us to Respect Your Privacy?
Your bank often tells you that they respect your privacy and they won’t leak your personal information to anyone apart from the companies they are affiliated with, which may just be thousands in numbers. Of course, you have the right to opt out, but sometimes even that does not prevent the invasion of your privacy.

So next time you deal with your bank, make sure to keep these points in mind.

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