NEW YORK — Citigroup Inc. has agreed to put off its plans to begin charging a monthly fee to some of its so-called "free checking" customers for a year's time, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Monday.
On a conference call with reporters, Cuomo said the company's Citibank unit has agreed to wait until Jan. 31, 2011, to begin charging a monthly fee to some free checking customers.
"The law and the regulations basically say you have to provide clear notice, not in footnote 486," Cuomo said.
The monthly fee was set to be implemented to customer checking accounts where the monthly balance fell below about $1,500, Cuomo said. It would have impacted about 1 million Citi customers nationwide and totaled about $100 a year in fees.
The deadline has been extended for Citi customers who signed up for free checking between January 2009 and November, 5, 2009, and other Citi customers who are meeting the original conditions under which they opened their accounts, Cuomo said.
Cuomo's office didn't believe Citigroup provided customers with adequate notice about the new fee.
"Today, we serve notice to the entire banking industry," Cuomo said. "We have been watching for some time and we will continue to scrutinize the fees they are charging consumers."