6 banking changes you'll see in 2011
Don't count on the 'free' in free checking
Legislation to protect consumers from banking fees may come with a price in other areas, namely the free checking account.
That could be a big adjustment for consumers younger than age 45.
"Most people in (that) generation have never paid for debit or checking accounts," says Richard Hunt, president of the Consumer Bankers Association in Arlington, Va.
Still, consumers shouldn't abandon hope. Free checking is still available, but with some caveats, says Keith Leggett, vice president and senior economist for the American Bankers Association in Washington, D.C. An individual may have to make a regular direct deposit of a set dollar amount or switch to paperless statements in order to receive free checking.
"So it won't be pure, straight free checking," he says.