Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wall St. to Taxpayers: "Thanks for the Bailouts, Have Some Higher Fees"

Wall Street is responding to new proposed regulations in classic form: They're trying to circumvent restrictions on compensation and want to pass along the cost of compliance to their clients, namely you and me.
JPMorgan Chase has informed clients its raising fees on balance transfers and cash advances to 5%, the highest among the nation's big banks. (Earlier this month, Bank of America raised similar fees to 4%.)

In a notice to customers, JPMorgan cited "new federal regulations" as the rationale for higher fees, The LA Times reports.

Get used to being nickled and dimed by the banks (even more than usual), says Diane Garnick, investment strategist at Invesco, who notes deflation has hit every other asset class in the past year, save ATM fees.

"We're going to get hit with all of these small fee coming from the banks," she says, noting banks' institutional customers are both smaller in number and much more cost conscious after the credit bust. "The way we're going to see these fees really come about will be on the retail side.
They're saying, the people who borrowed from Mastercard to pay Visa -- the little guys -- we're going to bump those fees all the way up."

Higher credit card fees: Think of it as just one more way of Wall Street saying "thanks" to the American taxpayer for bailing them out last year.