Wells Fargo Ends Free Checking, Adds Fees

San Francisco-based bank expands a program it first started on the west coast last year.

By Sajid Farooq
|  Thursday, Mar 8, 2012  |  Updated 1:46 PM PDT
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Wells Fargo Ends Free Checking, Adds Fees

AP

Wells Fargo & Co., which received $25 billion in taxpayer bailout money, is expanding a fee-based checking program across the country.

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Some analysts have predicted that regulating banks to prevent another financial meltdown would only result in average customers shouldering the burden in the form of extra fees.

Wells Fargo appears to have fired the latest shot across the bow.

The San Francisco-based banking firm announced that it is ending its free checking program in six more states across the country.

The nation's fourth largest bank already converted the accounts of existing customers in 24 western states last year.

Under the expanded policy, customers who do not maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance or make $500 worth of direct deposits a month, will be required to pay a $7-per-month charge.

The new fees will begin showing up on bank statements in June. The bank began informing customers who could potentially be impacted by the shift this week.

The announcement comes as banks have become a bigger target for both federal regulators and customer ire in a continuing down economy.

Wells Fargo has 6,200 bank branches in 39 states and the District of Columbia.

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