A survey released today
by Bankrate.com that shows banks are boosting their fees faster than
the interest rates they offer customers illustrates why banks should
not be allowed to broker real estate, the president of the National Association of Realtors® said today.
“Banks have once again demonstrated their incredible ability to find ways
to charge customers record fees. Banks that once touted warm, fuzzy customer
relations now are brazenly charging nearly $3 to use an ATM and more than $26
for a bounced check. Imagine what they will do to the real estate customer if
they are allowed to broker real estate. Banks will control the real estate transaction
end-to-end, creating virtually unlimited opportunities for extra charges and
add-ons,” said NAR President Thomas M. Stevens of Vienna, Va.
The Bankrate.com survey found that:
· The fee for using the "wrong" automated teller machine—one owned
by a bank where you don't have an account—hit an all-time record
high. You’ll be hit twice for a single withdrawal—once by
that other bank's ATM fee and once by your own bank, for a total average
fee of $2.91.
· Bankrate.com estimates that
American consumers will pay more than $4.3 billion in withdrawal fees
for using ATMs not owned by their own bank in 2005.
fees have gotten sneakier. While the average insufficient funds fee fell
a few cents, from $27.13 to $26.90, Bankrate found more banks are instituting
tiered fees that ramp up the more often you bounce a check or leave a
check uncovered. Even at $26.90, the bounced-check fee remains the second-highest
recorded since Bankrate began surveying checking accounts in 1998.
checking accounts remain an unattractive option, where you have to pay
a lot more to open an account and lock up a lot more money to gain a
pittance in interest.
Since 2001, NAR has successfully opposed a rule promulgated
by the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department that would allow federally
chartered banks to enter real estate brokerage and property management.
Some 250 members of the House and 27 senators support the Community Choice
of Real Estate Act, which would bar federally chartered banks from entering
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is
America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.2
million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial
real estate industries.