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Pay A Buck For A Paper Statement? Watch Out For More “Creative Fees” From Banks

credit fees In December 2009, reported that Alliance Data Systems, the credit card issuer for many large retailers, would begin charging $1 to those who elected to receive their billing statements in the mail as opposed to online.

Beyond the fact that this fee is frankly a junk fee, regardless of what the banks want to say about it,  as LaToya Irby notes on, customers who elect to receive their statements online might miss the important warnings about the cost of their credit unless they also download their statements in PDF format.

Is this an attempt by the credit card companies to mute the impact of having to inform consumers of the true cost of credit? It might be. It  might also be a way to mute the impact of the new law on the banks’  income statements.  It is estimated that the new law will cost banks $50 billion in lost revenue.

You see, over the last thirty years the slow and steady erosion of regulation on financial institutions has made it possible for the financial services industry to grow into the behemoth that it is today.  It just became very profitable to keep people in debt.

The banks don’t want to give those profits up. What’s more, they’ve had plenty of notice from the Federal government about the effects of the new law….nine months to be precise. So, they’re going to do whatever it takes to ensure that they continue to rake in those big profits. While the new legislation does plug in some of the regulatory holes, it had made some new ones and you can be sure the banking industry knows exactly where they are.

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