Banks operating in multiple states charged about 14% more in average monthly fees on checking and statement savings accounts last year than banks operating in a single state, the Federal Reserve Board said Thursday.
Monthly fees were 34% higher on passbook savings accounts at multistate banks than at banks in only one state, according to the Fed's annual report to Congress on retail fees.
ATM surcharges by multistate banks were an average of $1.29, or about 8.4% more than at single-state banking organizations, the report said. The industry-average surcharge was $1.20, 5 cents more than at thrifts.
Thrifts also cut customers better deals by reducing minimum balances on checking accounts though not on savings accounts.
On noninterest-bearing checking accounts, banks raised the monthly fee on accounts that dipped below minimum balances an average of 34 cents, to $6.42. Thrifts increased this fee by 16 cents, to $5.94. The average minimum required balance rose $19.20, to $498.61, at banks and $30.52, to $410.97, at thrifts.
On checking accounts that pay interest, banks' monthly fees jumped 3.3%, to $8.07. This fee was stable, at $6.64, for thrifts. Minimum balances on these bank accounts rose $57.51, to $1,109.02, and dropped 77 cents, to $644.91, at thrifts.
The picture differed for savings accounts, with offerings by banks beating thrifts. Statement savings account monthly fees rose 3.1%, to $2.25, at banks and 10.2%, to $2.54, at thrifts. Minimum balances for statement savings accounts averaged $197.27 at banks and $233.95 at thrifts.
For passbook savings, banks fees averaged $1.72 on accounts that dropped below their minimum balances, which averaged $143.75. Thrifts charged an average $2.39 on accounts below a minimum balance that averaged $169.03. The Fed surveyed about 1,000 depository institutions.