In an effort to protect their record profits, banks might soon charge you for the privilege of having a savings account.
I know what you’re thinking: Banks already charge customers outrageous fees for the privilege of having bank accounts. But if the Federal Reserve dares to try and help the economy by cutting a special interest rate it pays banks, fees could get even more outrageous, the Financial Times reports. Such a move by the Fed would lose banks some easy money, and they could take the difference out of their customers’ hides.
The Fed is desperately trying to find ways to dial back on its $85 billion per month in bond purchases, an extreme stimulus program known as “quantitative easing,” while still supporting the economy. One possible approach would be to stop paying banks a tiny interest rate for money they store at the Fed for safekeeping. The idea being that banks would be more inclined to put money to work with lending and other stuff that helps the economy.
But according to banks, that tiny Fed interest payment is the only thing that helps banks break even on savings accounts and other deposit services they provide. In order to protect their multi-billion-dollar bonuses and bank profits — which have bounced to record highs since that financial crisis the banks helped create, a crisis from which the Fed and the American taxpayer bailed them out — banks will sadly have no choice but to punish their customers.
Read more at the Huffington Post.