Citizens increases checking fees

CITIZENS BANK plans to increase the monthly fee on its Green Checking account from $4.99 to $9.99.
Posted 3/20/12

PROVIDENCE – Citizens Bank has jumped on the bandwagon, joining the trend of increasing fees on some of its services. The bank plans to increase the monthly fee on its Green Checking account from $4.99 to $9.99, starting with statements beginning on or after April 23.

Citizens made the announcement on Monday, March 19, citing regulatory reasons for the fee hike.

The charge will apply to new and existing Green Checking customers across the country.

“These changes are designed to make our offerings more uniform and easier to understand, and also to make them more economically sustainable in light of recent regulatory and legislative changes affecting our industry,” Citizens said in a public statement.

In spite of the hike, fee waiver requirements will remain the same. Customers can avoid the monthly account fee with an average balance of $1,500 or by making five qualifying payment transactions per month – such as ATM withdrawals, online bill payments, direct payments, debit card purchases and paid checks.

Citizens Bank’s decision follows moves taken by other big banks that have resorted to adding or raising fees on checking accounts to recoup lost revenue from the debit card swipe-fee caps that went into effect in October.

Earlier this month, Bank of America laid out plans to impose monthly fees on basic checking accounts unless customers maintain a minimum balance or buy other bank services.

Wells Fargo announced a $7 per month fee for checking that was once free in Georgia, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania.

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