Getting Soaked By Soaring Bank Fees?

Not so long ago, banks gave away color TVs to entice depositors to open accounts. Now, you practically have to offer the bank an incentive to take your money. Despite record earnings, banks keep cranking up fees on accounts and depositor services. In addition to the old standbys, such as increasing charges for money orders or requiring higher minimums for no-fee checking, some institutions have devised creative new ways to build fee income--from charging customers for talking to a live representative to passing on part of the cost of protection provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC).

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