Report: Bank of America charging fee for check images

Bank of America is adding a fee that may lead some customers to shut off paper statements, American Banker is reporting.

This month, the company began charging customers a $3 monthly fee if they elect to receive images of their canceled checks along with their statements, American Banker writes.

Bank of America is not the first to charge for check images, but its move furthers an approach it adopted last year when it required customers with a new type of account to stop receiving mailed statements as a condition of waiving their monthly fee, American Banker reports.

Customers can avoid the new fee by choosing to access their check images online only or by shutting off paper statements entirely, the publication writes.

Don Vecchiarello, a spokesman for B of A, said customers can still receive paper statements at no charge — so long as they reduce the bulk by opting out of printed check images, American Banker reports.

Vecchiarello said that the move to charge for check images is “in line with the rest of the industry.”

Wells Fargo & Co., for example, charges $2 a month for check images and extended that fee to former Wachovia customers in July, American Banker reports.

What do you think of this? Justified move or not?

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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133 comments Add your comment

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Mel

February 22nd, 2011
6:59 am

This is small potatoes compared to other devious things BoA is doing. If most people looked at some of the political causes they bankroll, you would probably close your account and put the money in a mattress.

You can't handle the truth

February 22nd, 2011
7:03 am

Just a sign of the times. Do more with less. Squeeze every penny. It will get worse.

Julia Adair

February 22nd, 2011
7:06 am

don’t you mean Skank of America?

Ex BoA Customer

February 22nd, 2011
7:09 am

So now they’re charging for a service they’re supposed and always have provided. What’s next, negative interest on your checking account to pay them for holding your money ? They’ll start charging for their own ATMs next. Bye Bye. Glad I quit them.

[...] This is a direct result of banking reforms. Banks are companies. Companies must make profits in order to stay in business. I know, profit is about as evil as a word for liberals as freedom is to Sharia. “Profits are by-products of greed!” I wonder if they by all of their pot at cost? Anyways, Bank of America is losing money because of new credit card and checking account regulations in part of the Financial Reform Act. So, new fees it is to make up the difference in lost revenue. http://blogs.ajc.com/business-beat/2011/02/22/report-bank-of-america-charging-fee-for-check-images/ [...]

Jeff Davis

February 22nd, 2011
7:19 am

More bad service by mega banks……….get out of there as quickly as possible. Find yourself a good credit union or a good small town bank, i.e., United Community Bank.

Jennifer

February 22nd, 2011
7:20 am

So the bank will save money and the customer will need to pay for a secure high-speed internet connection just to access their own account!

had enough

February 22nd, 2011
7:24 am

It took them over 2 weeks to find a pymt I made. The check had the acct. # written on the bottom plus the remittance stub. Maybe I should charge them for this???

dd

February 22nd, 2011
7:27 am

Paid off my b of a credit card awhile back.

Never say never, but will try my best to not do business with these folks again.

Unfortunately, my wife still has a checking account with them.

Hopefully, that will come to an end too.

No more banks

February 22nd, 2011
7:28 am

I have been with a credit union for YEARS! I hope to NEVER go back to a bank again. If they started losing more customers, they would think about these dumb fees they are coming up with.

Uhoh

February 22nd, 2011
7:39 am

Sorriest outfit ever.

Buck

February 22nd, 2011
7:41 am

Hey gang; contrary to popular belief, banks are not charity organizations! The gub-mit constrained their ability to charge overdraft fees to deadbeats who cannot balance their check book, so you can kiss free checking and other things like check images goodbye.

It's OK

February 22nd, 2011
7:42 am

This is old news. Banks began assessing fees for returning checks and printing statements in the 1990’s. No big deal. If you don’t like it, try another bank and see if you like their fee structure. Nothing these days is free, and the consumer who thinks so is fooling himself/herself.

Hater of BOA

February 22nd, 2011
7:43 am

I hate BOA – They are a bunch of high end theives! I am so glad I left them years ago but not before they robbed me blind with all those fees. I will never ever recommend or go back to BOA again!

Whatever

February 22nd, 2011
7:45 am

If you don’t like it, move to another bank.

Get over yourselves.

Richards

February 22nd, 2011
7:45 am

Don’t like BOA’s politics. Closed my account several years ago.

BIG GEORGE

February 22nd, 2011
7:50 am

Crtedit Unions are the only way to GO!!! If you don’t belong to one then you need to join……with my credit union I get 3.5% interest on my checking with no FEES!!!!!!!! WHY ARE YOU STILL DEALING WITH THE MEGA MONSTER BANKS?

DBM

February 22nd, 2011
7:50 am

Just switched from BofA to Suntrust after being a customer of Bank of America (started with Bank South, then Nations Bank) since 1996. I can’t believe the difference. So far, it has been the difference between night and day as far as customer service and assistance. Very happy with the change. The best thing I did was dump Bank of America.

Mullah

February 22nd, 2011
7:54 am

Thanks Barack, democrats really need to assess the consequences of their actions.

Jake

February 22nd, 2011
7:57 am

I sold all of my stock I had with them. Took all of my CD’s out and moved to a more friendly bank.

Road Warrior

February 22nd, 2011
7:58 am

Hater of BOA – ” I left them years ago but not before they robbed me blind with all those fees.”

I’ve been with BOA for over 15 years, always paid my credit cards in full each month, keep a minimum of $10,000 in checking so that on the rare occasion that I do write a check, there is NO chance of ever getting hit with an NSF and I keep enough in a reserve fund in svings so that I don’t pay maintenance fees. In short, I have NEVER been charged a fee.

From the posts on here, it seems that what people need is to focus on better financial management rather than searching out a new bank.

Ted

February 22nd, 2011
8:00 am

This doesn’t seem like a big deal. I don’t know why anyone would want paper statements anyway and all the utilities and finance companies are getting away from them. There should be a charge for paper statements and check images because they cost the bank money. I don’t mind BofA charging customers for wasteful things like this as long as they don’t charge fees to people who are trying to avoid waste.

What bothers me with BofA is that the electronic statements don’t include check images. That seems easy and cheap, but they don’t do it.

Meredith

February 22nd, 2011
8:03 am

Why would anyone want printed copies of their checks? You can see them online. I like B of A… I closed my Suntrust account and Wachovia… B of A is much better.

HT

February 22nd, 2011
8:04 am

Bank of America………….better known as Bank of Theives

MariettaGirl

February 22nd, 2011
8:05 am

I agree with Road Warrior. I have been with BOA for over 15 years as well and have never had a problem. But then I never over draw my checking account and I pay my credit card in full every month. If you can’t manage to balance your check book perhaps the best place for your cash IS in your mattress.

Road Warrior

February 22nd, 2011
8:10 am

Meredith – “Why would anyone want printed copies of their checks? You can see them online.”

Exactly! It seems that the only people who complain about fees are the ones that actually deserve to get hit with them. These are the people that max out the credit limit and just make minimum payments, and then whine about the high interest rate. Or, they keep $500.00 in checking but use every last dollar in the account without at least a cushion to deflect a delayed posting or system error. BOA could raise my interest rate on my cards to 500%, and it wouldn’t make a difference to me since I don’t pay interest at all. Same for the NSF fees. If I got a letter informing me that the new NSF fees will be $300.00, I wouldn’t give it a 2nd thought.

Learn how to manage your money, and fees are a non-issue. If you can’t pay off the CC each month, you shouldn’t be using one. If you are using checks on a regular basis in this day and age of electronic banking, then you are more than likely still trying to game the system, and deserve every cent you get charged.

Piggy Bank

February 22nd, 2011
8:11 am

BOA started charging my college daughter for having a savings account and if she transferred more out more than 3 times during a billing cycle they would charge 9 dollars. Then another 3 in maint. fees. I got charged a 8.95 fee on my checking in Dec-jan because the direct deposits went in early so they missed a billing cycle. That also has never happened before. I got all that back and closed my students saving account. Maybe a bank change is in my future as well.

commoncents

February 22nd, 2011
8:15 am

road warrior- don’t try to use common sense here. Life is about living on the edge and writing checks before you make a deposit, apparently.

keep the min. balance, write checks you can actually cover, and view the check images online and you won’t have any problems.

I’m not a BoA customer, but this applies to practically ALL banks now

paintman

February 22nd, 2011
8:17 am

What’s the problem ??? I’ve been banking with this crowd for 35 years. in some name or the other, and have never bounced a check, paid a fee or had an issue with the SERVICE- it’s called PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY folks, try it u might discover how easy it really is. Oh yea, I forgot–u Can’t FIX stupid.

Road Warrior

February 22nd, 2011
8:20 am

commoncents – “I’m not a BoA customer, but this applies to practically ALL banks now”

Thanks CC. I hate to sound preachy, but I’ve personally been down this road before. 5 years out of college, I had maxed out my AMEX, MC and Visa and NSF’s were a basic way of life. I lived without credit cards and checks for another 10 years and paid cash for everything. After that I came to the realization that it was me who had to make the changes needed in order to be more financially successful. Every bank and Credit Union has a built in fee structure for abusers as do most businesses. Changing banks only prolongs the problem. if you really want to see who’s screwing you in regards to fees and interest rates, all someone needs to do is look in the mirror.

Road Warrior

February 22nd, 2011
8:22 am

Paintman – “I’m not a BoA customer, but this applies to practically ALL banks now”

Shhhhh…. don’t let anyone know, or it might lead to accountability and self reliance.

paintman

February 22nd, 2011
8:24 am

Hey, Road Warrior, the worst thing about this is –These people actually are able to VOTE !!!

Dan

February 22nd, 2011
8:25 am

Do people actually look at paper statements? And even if you do, why is it necessary to see an image of your checks? I just don’t see the big deal.

Al Feretta

February 22nd, 2011
8:29 am

What kind of idiot uses a bank that is publicly traded on the stock market anyway?? Delta Credit Union FTW!

JHo

February 22nd, 2011
8:34 am

I happen to like BOA…but it looks like I might be a minority. I’ve been with them for over 25 years, since C&S and NationsBank time. I’ve never had a problem with them. I think they have the best website ever!

mike

February 22nd, 2011
8:43 am

I’m with Road Warrior on this one. I have been down the road of NSF fees, over charging my credit card, writing checks before the money got into my account. Although, I will have to say it didn’t keep me in that situation. It woke me up and made me start thinking why would I give any bank or anybody money for my own stupidity. If I just learned to manage my money, living on less than what I make, I would be ok. Today I am happy to say I am completely debt free with the exception of my mortage. Quit complaining, blaming, and pointing the finger, act like an adult with your money. If you don’t control your money, it will control you.

I just set up a new checking account Friday and elected NOT to receive my paper statement, and mine was free.

I will have to say I did have a bad experience with BOA though. I went to open my checking account and deposited my entire payroll check and it was lost. They never would accept accountability for losing it, even when I hade the deposit slip. So I will never do business with BOA, but that really isn’t the issue here.

snoopy

February 22nd, 2011
8:45 am

Banking at Charles Schwab for over 5 years.. All online & the Best experience ever.. No hassles..

Have a CC W/BOA but pay that sucker off every month.. They are the demise of banking..

Online banking is where it’s at.. Get direct deposit & they also provide prepaid envelopes for any misc deposits you need to make.. Customer service is actually a good experience..

past BOA employee

February 22nd, 2011
8:46 am

I worked for BOA in customer (dis)service eons ago before they became the big conglomerate banking industry they are now. They taught us to treat the customer’s with more than $100k in their accounts with kid gloves, the rest were peons and they could care less if you were happy or not. The more money you had in your account the better you were treated and the better perks (services and less fees) you were offered. I had my account with them as an employee but closed it as soon as I left because of their policies regarding the “little people”. It’s a shame because the “little people” keep the bank afloat with all the FEES they pay. Even though the fees are disclosed in your statement of charges, few people read all the fine print and BOA takes full advantage of that fact, as do most banks. Credit Unions are better at catering to the “little people” of the world. I do believe people should be more responsible with their money so that this kind of thing doesn’t affect them as much; read your statements thoroughly each month or each day online, watch for mistakes (yes banks make mistakes too) purchase duplicate checks and keep a record of them, etc. Many things can be done by consumers to keep the fees at bay. A little due diligence goes a long way…financially speaking!

Road Warrior

February 22nd, 2011
8:48 am

@mike

I hear ya buddy! Of course the downside to paying off the CC cards regularly means that I don’t get to take advantage of those no interest for 5 years deals I see all the time. But then again, why would I WANT to finance my furniture for 5 years? :)

Chappy

February 22nd, 2011
8:51 am

If you have a mortgage, I HIGHLY recommend your printing out copies of your cancelled checks. With all the mortgage mess, I guarantee many people will be asked to prove their ownership. The banks and the repackagers cant find documentation, I assure you if you don’t no one will.

Don’t rely on anything but proof of your mortgage payments, that you keep yourself. Innocent people will be taken out by the bank crooks.

Happy Banker

February 22nd, 2011
8:54 am

I don’t know anyone who likes BOA. I keep my money at RBC on 5th street. Those folks do me right. They greet you by name when you walk in. One day I asked them if there was a way I could lower my interest rate on my home equity loan. The loan officer got on his computer, hit a couple of keys, and converted the loan to a line of credit cutting the interest rate in half. Automatic for the people. No charge. Awesome service.

DJuan Harris

February 22nd, 2011
8:54 am

4 words. FIND A CREDIT UNION!

Road Warrior

February 22nd, 2011
8:55 am

past BOA employee – “A little due diligence goes a long way…financially speaking!”

I second that! There is another advantage to keeping the CC’s at a zero balance. it allows me to immeidately spot any erroneous errors or charge mistakes as soon as they happen. i had one occasion where the card was paid off, but the bank assessed an interest charge. i called them, and they apologixed as it was their error and took it right off. I know for a fact that most any bank will count on there being so many charges on the billing statement that a mistaken interest charge will be overlooked. Again, these things apply only to the people who only make the minimum payment. When you’re balance is constantly zero, no one can take advantage of you.

Road Warrior

February 22nd, 2011
8:58 am

Happy Banker – “They greet you by name when you walk in.”

Wow, I haven’t been inside a bank since 2005. Do they still have little bowls of candy on the counter by the teller window? :)

Conservative

February 22nd, 2011
9:00 am

Why are so many people assuming that if you are against being nickled and dimed to death (i.e. more nitpicky fees) that makes you a deadbeat who can’t manage money and is trying to “game the system”???? Let’s be reasonable here. This new set of fees is BofA’s way of saying to us “we’re going to provide you less service than we have before unless you pay us more money”. A bank is required by law to provide you with a monthly statement. They are trying to charge you for something that they are required to do by law. And you people that think it’s wasteful are letting them get away with skirting their legal requirement! So let’s say I opt for electronic statements, the burden is now on me to go to their website and download the pdf. And to get a hard copy of it, I have to pay the costs of having internet, printing ink, and electricity used to do all this. All of this for something they are legally required to send me! That’s what this is about, I refuse to pay for something that they are required to do!

Road Warrior

February 22nd, 2011
9:03 am

Conservative – “I have to pay the costs of having internet, printing ink, and electricity used to do all this.”

If you don’t have these things already 11 years into the 21st century, then I think your choice of banks is the least of your worries.

mike

February 22nd, 2011
9:04 am

Roadwarrior- I have always believed that the interest is rolled into the cost of that new furniture, car, or whatever else people buy like that. Also, all it takes it one late payment and every bit of that interest will be hit on your card at one time. I just have one card that I rarely use, and when I do I pay it off as soon as the bill comes. Credit card companies are snakes waiting in the grass to bite you when they get their chance. I too often hear people all concerned with their FICO score. The FICO is not the answer, paying with cash and living on less than you make is.

David W

February 22nd, 2011
9:04 am

I’m baffled by the people that say they are fed up with BofA. I’ve been with them for 15 years (since Nationsbank) and never had one complaint. Then again, I only write a few checks per year, submit my bill payments online, never come close to overdrafting my account, have a nice cushion in savings and always, always pay off my credit card balance or make the payment on time. Any bank will get you with fees if you aren’t responsible.

GAtor

February 22nd, 2011
9:05 am

I think the bigger issue here is why are people still using checks?