Despite claims that free banking is in danger due to new regulatory measures, a new survey released Thursday by a banking industry trade group revealed that more than 70% of customers avoid paying any fees.
The online survey of more 2,000 adults showed that 71% of respondents reported that they paid no fees while another 11% said they paid $3 or less in monthly bank fees. Another 6% said they paid $4 to $6 a month in fees.
The survey was conducted from Aug. 12 to Aug. 14 by Ipsos Public Affairs, an independent market research firm, for the American Bankers Association, which has conducted the survey annually since 1998.
The survey results come at a time when banks are preparing for the impact of new restrictions on debit interchange, which will decrease the fees banks receive when customers shop with their debit cards. Since the end of 2009, nearly two-thirds of large banks have ended free checking while adding fees or altering terms for approximately 4 million consumer deposit accounts, according to the research firm Moebs Services. The interchange provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, better known as the Durbin amendment because it was championed by Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, will go into effect on Oct. 1. It will only apply to banks with more than $10 billion of assets.