B of A charging some customers for printed monthly statements

Bank of America is charging some customers to receive their monthly statement in the mail, American Banker is reporting.

The $8.95 monthly fee is only applied to one type of account so far — and only in Georgia, American Banker writes.

But, the bank is planning to introduce the product in other markets as a replacement for its student checking account, which has no monthly fees when opened online, American Banker says.

B of A is not be the first U.S. bank to take an aggressive stance against paper statements, but it is the biggest to start charging for them, American Banker reports.

What do you think of this? Another example of nickel-and-diming by a financial institution? Or is it a justified way to raise revenue and cut costs?

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115 comments Add your comment

wesley

July 15th, 2010
7:27 am

I guess TARP money wasn’t enough, now they are gonna stick it to their customers to make even more money. My mortgage was recently purchased by B of A and I already hate them. Their customer service is atrocious, no respect for the customer, its more of a “it’s a pleasure for you to serve us” mentality. Hopefully another bank or entity will purchase mortgages from them and ours will be one of them, can’t happen soon enough…..

Biz stinks

July 15th, 2010
7:41 am

If it were the government suggesting a tax on paper statements, something like this would be touted as a necessary and progressive environmental initiative. For example, those who propose a significant gas tax as incentive for reducing usage/reliance on oil. What’s the big deal here? Saves the company money, gives customers a choice in behavior, better from a resource usage standpoint and may make the company a few bucks.

Damon

July 15th, 2010
7:42 am

Another reason I stopped using bank of america 3 years ago–the worst customer service of any bank in america. They get bailouts when they fail and treat customers like trash.

Michael

July 15th, 2010
8:18 am

Just another way of lining the pockets of greedy bank executives!

FedUp

July 15th, 2010
8:23 am

Bank of America will not get one dime from me and I will close all of my accounts, just to make a point.

LeeH1

July 15th, 2010
8:27 am

Ah! Banks want your money, but really don’t want small accounts. Too much of a hassel. They want big accounts, and it is an extension of their generosity to supply banking and checks to the little people of America.

Now they want you to pay for the privledge of them using our money. I transferred my account some years ago from BoA. It was difficult, since they have the customers tied up in monthly paycheck deposits, bill paying and other items, but getting shed of Bank of America was worth it. More like the “Bank of Arabia”.

downsouth

July 15th, 2010
8:40 am

wesley, my mortgage just got bought by BoA, and you comments made me curious. What happened to make you need to contact BoA about your mortgage? just wondering as i’ve rarely had to contact my mortgage company about anything, until we were looking to refi. thanks ahead of time for the info.

Les A. Fare

July 15th, 2010
8:42 am

Blame this on Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Congress and the supposedly financial reform bill that is about to pass which mostly creates new bureaucracies and regulations instead of dealing with the true industry changes that needed to be made. Expect more banks besides BoA to start charging for more services that used to be free because Congress has meddled where they had no business going and has eliminated many bank revenue sources.

It is easy to pile on BoA or other banks, both big and small, but I lay the responsibility on Congress for screwing things up in the financial markets, not just now but back in 2008 and before.

SKS

July 15th, 2010
8:58 am

I knew they were bad.I Am moving my account today.

Hypocrite hunter

July 15th, 2010
9:05 am

They are free to charge whatever they want to charge. You are free not to use them. Not sure I see the problem?

Dave

July 15th, 2010
9:12 am

What is the problem….everyone works to earn the most money possible and that includes banks.
I do not bank with BoA as I prefer Credit Unions to banks. If not happy with what anyone charges anywhere…..take you business elsewhere.

OneChris

July 15th, 2010
9:20 am

I have been with BOA since 1991 and love them as well as have two credit cards and a 1st and 2nd mtg w. them and never had any trouble and free checking with checks free the whole time and no trouble ever so thinking most of the complainers are bad with money or do not have good attitudes. I also belong to a credit union and will leave BOA if ever needed but so far so good!

Fed Up

July 15th, 2010
9:21 am

Banks are becoming like airlines and will charge every little fee they can get away with. It’s our job to avoid inertia and change companies when we don’t like what’s going on. Too few people do that. (Same goes for voting!!!)

Doug

July 15th, 2010
9:26 am

Read, people. This $8.95 is for student accounts, for customers under the age of 25 and live much of their lives online. I don’t know why anyone comfortable with the Web would want to continue wasting paper when you can download monthly statements online. Refocus your vitriol on our wasteful federal and state governments, whose frivolity and excess costs you and I much more than $8.95 a month.

Lou

July 15th, 2010
9:36 am

This is the way the country is moving. Look at the airlines. I would bet money that soon a restaurant will charge you to rent your chair and table while eating, (oops I hope I didn’t give them an idea here), or a store will charge you for the time you spend shopping after walking in the door. the grossest thing is thisd european airline that is going to have stand-up stations and if you want to sit for your flight you will have pay for a seat. the politicians gave them the green light, tanning bed taxes, cigarette and beer taxes, parking meters, gas taxes, sales taxes, etc.,etc. and etc. WE ARE SCREWED!

Seriously?

July 15th, 2010
9:56 am

Lou – you don’t like the European airline that’s trying a new concept (standing room only for reduced fares) because – as you said – “if you want to sit for your flight you will have pay for a seat.”

Um, ALL airlines make you pay for a seat if you want to sit on their flight!!!

ldrb

July 15th, 2010
10:01 am

E Statements are the way to go. B of A needs to be put out of business. $9 won’t even fill 1/2 tank of gas in my car anymore, or ever again! B of A certainly does not need the income! If you want to know the truth Credit Unions are the place to be. I’ve worked in the CU environment for the past 11 years and I belong to 3. They are open to anyone for membership now!

Lou

July 15th, 2010
10:12 am

Hey seriously: You have a point. What I think the airlines will do next and I am dead serious about this, is put you on the scale at a “weight counter” and compute how much fuel it will cost them to fly you and put a “weight tax” on the ticket. This is already talked about. I can see ugly Betty flight attendant coming by to sell you a 10 dollar snack and then add a 2 dollar surcharge because the snack will contribute to your weight. Geez this is fun!

mike

July 15th, 2010
10:19 am

Say what you want about their customer service, but they are ranked as one of the worst in the industry.

wesley

July 15th, 2010
10:28 am

RE: downsouth – When they purchased my mortgage from the previous company i was dealing with, i never received notification from B of A that they were my new mortgage holders until my acct was almost past due. I sent my mortgage payment to the old mortgage holder like i always do, they sent it back to me stating that B of A was the new lein holder, i called the old lein holder and they told me that i should have received notification in writing from B of A of their purchase of my mortgage, something i never received. Needless to say, i wasn’t to happy with the situation since being timely on paying everything is one of my pet peeves. It’s taken care of now after numerous phone calls, but what a hassle, they tried charging me late fees for payment not received on time and such. When i tried to explain what the situation was, it was like they didn’t want to hear it and that everything that happened was my fault. I just think they are out for themselves and could care less about their customers as long as they get paid and collect as many fees as they can regardless of who it is…..

wesley

July 15th, 2010
10:32 am

RE: onecrhis – its not always about people being bad with money (which i’m not) or a bad attitude, it’s mostly the i don’t give a crap attitude that most of the banks have towards their customers whenever a problem arises that is the bank’s fault and not the customers as in my case…..

Lou

July 15th, 2010
10:38 am

Seriously: You forgot an important fact in your response. According to federal law and the FAA a seat is required for SAFETY. You must be in a seat and be buckled in per the direction of the pilot. These bozos in Europe that will have stand up stations would have already done so but they haven’t figured out the safety rules they have to comply with in accordance with the European equivalent of the FAA. In the event of a crash can you imagine one of the standup stations breaking loose and becoming a missile inside the airplane? Just one of the many things to ponder.

Sally

July 15th, 2010
10:48 am

Been expecting this to happen for awhile.

Skyhook

July 15th, 2010
10:49 am

Before you are too quick to jump on the credit union bandwagon, unlike you and I, they pay no state or income taxes on their earnings.

I have been in the banking business for many years, and am a CEO of a small community bank. I was brought up and trained in the old C&S Bank that is a direct ancestor (along with several others) of BOA, and I am certainly no fan of some of their business practices.

However our industry is evolving, and all banks with the regulatory scrutiny that we are under, are having to look at the way we are doing business.

That being said, we are not in the business of running off customers.

We spend thousands on advertising to cultivate good will, and throw it away over nickel and dime charges. Good customers are too hard to come by.

steve

July 15th, 2010
10:56 am

Based on your column, this is only happening with student checking accounts that otherwise cost the account holder $0. If they don’t want the $8.95 charge for the paper statement, they can log into their online account and PRINT their monthly statement.
I know banks can tack on lots of fees, but I’m with BOA on this one. They are already providing the student with a free checking account. This includes the option to get their monthly statement online for $0 each month. If the student absolutely needs the bank to mail them a printed copy of the account, they should be willing to pay something for it. BOA has to pay for the cost and upkeep of the printer. They are also supplying the paper, toner, and postage to get that paper statement to the customer. The ‘free’ student account has real costs associated with it in terms of data entry and server storage space that BOA is giving away.
$8.95 may sound expensive, but if BOA wants to ween customer’s from receiving paper statements, they won’t do that by only charging postage costs.
On a separate note, I also have my mortgage with BOA (for about 2 years now). I have never had any problems with it. I only had to speak with their customer support group once, but did not have any issues.

dww44

July 15th, 2010
10:57 am

Actually as an aging baby boomer but one wholly familiar with the web and the push by all companies with whom I do business, including Bof A, to make me do all their work for them, I continue to resist the move to printing my own statements. Certainly not until BofA has a supremely simple and usuable readable statement.

Heck, I do business for my Mom and for a couple of non-profits with community banks. Every month comes a simple little statement with photos of the checks written. A nice permanent record. BofA statements are way too complicated. For that reason,I continue to receive printed statements. I have long refused to do any auto bill pay as I want to decide when and how I wish to pay for a service or product.

Doug

July 15th, 2010
11:21 am

dww44, why do you still feel the compulsion to print as a permanent record? Save the PDFs onto a flash drive, then put them in your safe. That’s probably more permanent than a piece of paper would ever be. Shifting from endless physical paper trails saves money and trees. We Gen Y’ers don’t balance checkbooks – we deal with our money in real time. I know what I have in checking and savings at all times, I control when my bills are debited from my account and maintain my financial records digitally. We’re the audience for this type of account, so the $8.95 fee is barely relevant.

steve

July 15th, 2010
11:59 am

Doug I’m with you on the whole online banking scenario. I’m over 50, and always hated 1) physically writing checks 2) trying to keep my balance correct (faulty math skills).
I switched to online banking and bill paying about 7 years ago, and would never want to go back to paper. Online, I can check my balance each day (multiple times if I feel the need) and see exactly what I have.
With online bill pay I decide who I pay and the date I pay them. This is different from an automatic draft (which I don’t use). I spend about 10 minutes per month now paying bills rather than the hour it use to take. I also save 44 cents (soon-to-be 47 cents) on each bill by not having to pay postage.

DWW44, I’m not sure who your banker is, but I’ve yet to see a bank (offering online bill pay) who doesn’t allow you to designate who and when you make the payment.

elbow room

July 15th, 2010
12:57 pm

Most of these comments are from small minded people. E statements are better for the environment, and much less expensive to produce than paper statements that must be mailed and postmarked. In this day and age when all companies are being financially squeezed, why would this not make sense? Banks lose money on small accounts so why should they be faulted for trying to make up for costs associated with these accounts? Dumbasses who collectively refer to B of A and every big bank as “evil” and “greedy” need only look at their stock performance and executive compensation….. Blame Obama for TARP money, not the banks that were forced to receive it.

rip off artists

July 15th, 2010
12:58 pm

Take charge. Fire their monster mega-bank a$$es and sign up at a credit union or small local bank.

Patrick

July 15th, 2010
12:59 pm

Bank of America is doing the right thing. They are not trying to gain profit but trying to go GREEN. They should be commended. I hate paper mail and Bank of America give me all my statements online. GO GREEN!

I hate banks!

July 15th, 2010
1:00 pm

Another example of nickel-and-diming by a financial institution? to say the least!

BofA is the definition of Evil Empire! Saddest part is we allow this to happen by allowing big banks to rule Washington DC and the world.

john

July 15th, 2010
1:01 pm

Anyone else think it is quite a coincidence that Obama’s financial reform package is about to get passed today??

It is not. This financial package requires banks to keep more cash on hand which in turn means much fewer loans and more fees for customers. When are some of the stupid Obama supporters going to realize this man is destroying private business and the economy?

Jim Barnard

July 15th, 2010
1:02 pm

Complaining won’t help you have the power NOT to do business with these folks….take your business elsewhere..like a Credit Union

Where's Alexander Hamilton when you need him?

July 15th, 2010
1:02 pm

Reason #5,094,750,437 I will never bank with Bank of America.

Here We Go Again

July 15th, 2010
1:03 pm

Well, Les A Fare (FARCE) – why not put the blame where it belongs – “W”
8 years of hands off approach has brought us to the brink of ruin…

john

July 15th, 2010
1:05 pm

Anyone who is here hating on banks…let me ask you one question…do you have a mortgage or ever financed a car??

If so, then you can thank your bank for that. Of course, you could just wait about 20-30 years to save up the $150,000 or $250,000 in CASH. Oh, I forgot…you must have your toy immediately…

Its kind of like people who hate on oil companies and drive to work everyday and use countless products produced by oil. Let me explain, just because you drive a Prius doesn’t make you an environmentalist…you are still using OIL!!!

SMDH

July 15th, 2010
1:06 pm

That sucks but I can go paperless and print my statements from the internet when I’m ready to reconcile my account. I’d love to not deal with BOA at all but my husband isn’t ready to leave. In many ways, it’s convenient for the both of us. I left Wachovia for BOA (poor customer service…very poor). My experience hasn’t been great. However when I’ve had to visit a branch, the people are always friendly and informative. I guess I just need to adjust my banking style.

If everyone selects go paperless then there’s no need to stress about the $8.95 but it really sucks that executives milk the system. Majority of these high level executives are about making every dollar they can squeeze out of a customer.

Dave

July 15th, 2010
1:07 pm

My bank, BB&T (was formerly w/Main St. Bank before BB&T bought them) started charging about $3/month to receive paper account statements…. so I stopped them. My insurance company, State Farm, also charges me $3/month for my monthly paper statement…. kind of a rip-off.

Stacie

July 15th, 2010
1:07 pm

Enter your comments here

SMDH

July 15th, 2010
1:10 pm

Not kind of Dave…very much so.

Not a Techno 'tard

July 15th, 2010
1:11 pm

I see no problem with BoA’s new policy — it’s business, not personal. I also have my mortgage, checking and savings accounts with them. No problems. My college kid has a fee-less student account, but he doesn’t need to receive paper statements and probably prefers e-statements, anyway. This seems to be much ado about nothing from techno ‘tards who are too scared to get with the age of technology.

SMDH

July 15th, 2010
1:14 pm

We can blame congress and the adminstration but bottom line is $$$ makes the world go around and there are some people who are really greedy. It’s like that game Hungry, Hungry Hippos. Everyone is trying to get more than everyone else.

Rule S

July 15th, 2010
1:18 pm

The government should require all banks to send paper statements for free to all customers. Hopefully this is part of the new financial legislation. Banks are ripping everyone off and still getting bailouts.

XSuntrust

July 15th, 2010
1:21 pm

You think $8.95 is bad. SunTrust started charging a $12.00 monthly maintance service fee for my money market account. By August I’ll be switched over to a credit union.

JCCPA

July 15th, 2010
1:29 pm

Students are much more likely than old f@rts to elect the online delivery so they may not jump up in arms. If they did this to my account, I would probably move to a community bank. Unfortunately you need hard copies of these documents to face down an IRS audit and the bank only retains them online for approximately one year. If you elect the online delivery you had better be good at remembering to download and print (or backup) the statement.

LWA

July 15th, 2010
1:29 pm

@not techno ‘tard…… I would not have my mortgage/checking/savings account with the same bank. If you pass today, the bank will hold all of your money until the debts are paid in full. In other words, your family would not be able to get to your checking acct or savings acct function until everything is settled. This happened with my mom’s account. All money was frozen b/c the bank was looking for payment for the mortgage. In addition, if you loose your job and fall behind on a payment or two, the bank can move the money as they see fit.

Greg S.

July 15th, 2010
1:29 pm

8.95 for a statement! Gone are the days of the banks even pretending to provide service to it’s clients. I’ll be looking for alternatives to BoA real soon ’cause they can KmA!

Jason

July 15th, 2010
1:33 pm

“Blame Obama for TARP money, not the banks that were forced to receive it.”

For your information, TARP was signed into law by Bush, not Obama.

Jim

July 15th, 2010
1:34 pm

I think it’s a great idea! BofA is being environmentally responsible by encouraging its patrons to go green by doing more online and penalizing patrons who choose to kill more trees. And all without government mandate!

I applaud their new eco-friendly position, and hope other institutions follow suit.