Friday, February 20, 2009

Banks Pour Salt Over the Wounded

Christopher Leonard, AP reporter:
For hundreds of thousands of workers losing their jobs during the recession, there's a new twist to their financial pain: Even as they're collecting unemployment benefits, they're paying bank fees just to get access to their money.

Thirty states have struck such deals with banks that include Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., JP Morgan Chase and US Bancorp, an Associated Press review of the agreements found. All the programs carry fees, and in several states the unemployed have no choice but to use the debit cards.
* * *
"It's a racket. It's a scam," said Rachel Davis, a 38-year-old dental technician from St. Louis who was laid off in October. Davis was given a MasterCard issued through Central Bank of Jefferson City and recently paid $6 to make two $40 withdrawals.
* * *
The fees are raising questions from lawmakers who just recently voted to infuse banks with taxpayer money to keep them afloat.
* * *
Another 10 states — including the unemployment hot spots of California, Florida and South Carolina — are considering such programs or have signed contracts. The remainder still use traditional checks or direct deposit.

Can't really blame the bankers. They just can't help it. They think they own everyone's money, anyway.

1 comment:

Toronto condos said...

These fees are breathtaking - $6 for 2 withdrawals?? I have nothing against banks, they are doing their business, BUT government and bureaucrats should leave the possibility of choice - bank account or cash or some other form (check)!
Regards,
Elli