By Kyle Olson
To compensate itself for losses incurred due to the financial reform, Chase Bank will be charging its checking account users a monthly fee of $6 unless they make a monthly direct deposit of at least $500. Multiple direct deposit checks that add up to $500 will not exempt a consumer from this monthly charge, the Associated Press reports, though making at least five debit card purchases will allow for an exemption. The change will go into effect in February and will affect basic checking accounts.
The change may reportedly disproportionately affect checking account users with low incomes or less-than-stellar finances, including those who are unemployed, subsiding on Social Security payments or recovering from a bankruptcy filing. Chase Bank may be instituting the policy in an attempt to woo "prime" consumers who have good credit, high incomes and are not victim to financial instability, while discouraging the patronage of low-income consumers who may present a greater risk to the bank, according to the news source.
Bank of America and Citi Bank have also recently made changes to the terms of the basic checking accounts they offer. Though neither bank has instituted a policy like that of Chase, customers of both banks may have to pay a monthly fee unless they meet certain requirements.