Banking Blog

Check in regularly for the latest news on everything banking, including prepaid cards, regulations, checking account practices, mobile banking, ATMs, security, the Federal Reserve's policies and virtual currencies like bitcoin. Reporters and analysts also provide commentary and tips for managing your personal finances and how to make the most of your money and your banking relationships. See the latest Banking Blog posts below.
Thursday, March 10, 2011 3:46 pm
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

Just in case you were wondering if banks are still upset about upcoming limits on the debit interchange fees they can charge merchants, rest assured they are. The latest scheme to replace interchange fee income/punish America for its insolence comes via JP Morgan Chase, which is floating the idea of placing limits on the size

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Thursday, March 3, 2011 11:08 am
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

J.D. Power has a new report out on how people shop for a new bank, and some of the results are a little surprising, at least for me. The study found that the biggest factor that attracted new customers to a bank was brand image, followed closely by advertising and having bank branches in convenient

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Monday, February 28, 2011 2:59 pm
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

Remember when we thought giving Americans a choice about whether to enroll in their bank’s overdraft protection program would cut down on the amount of Americans’ money banks were able to siphon off? Six months after the “opt-in” rule went into effect for checking accounts, the opposite is happening. Suzanne Kapner of The Financial Times

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Thursday, February 24, 2011 11:07 am
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

What if your credit union decided it didn’t want to be a credit union anymore? Rachel Witkowski at American Banker has a great story this month on one credit union’s push to become a bank: Har-co Maryland Federal Credit Union in Bel Air recently notified its members that it plans to convert to a mutual

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 6:45 pm
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

What are you planning on doing with that change in your pocket? If you’re about to spend it on vending machine food or just lose it in your couch cushions, the Independent Community Bankers of America would like to have a word with you. That’s because it’s America Saves Week, a week-long push by the

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Thursday, February 17, 2011 2:53 pm
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

There was a great article last week in The Wall Street Journal on how big banks are ramping up their incentives to try and bring in new checking and savings customers. Here are some of the examples of incentives being offered by some of the bigger banks: PNC Bank: $100 coupon for opening a checking

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Monday, February 14, 2011 5:18 pm
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the Bank of China’s decision a while back to begin accepting deposits from American consumers for conversion into Chinese yuan. The deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and because many consider China a lock for tremendous growth going forward and its currency has long

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 3:27 pm
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

In covering banking for Bankrate, I spend a lot of time thinking about what people don’t like from their bank — excessive fees, poor service, security problems — but less time on what they do. An interesting survey out this week commissioned by Ally Bank explored just that question. In honor of Valentine’s Day, pollsters

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Tags: Rates, savings
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 9:30 am
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

The Identity Theft Resource Center, which tracks and monitors security breaches that involve personally sensitive information, reported 662 incidents that exposed more than 16 million records in its year-end 2010 report. The Banking/Credit/Financial category didn’t dominate the list, but quite a few breaches were attributed to companies in this sector. Some of the incidents involved

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Monday, February 7, 2011 9:30 am
By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com

The essential message was “status quo” in the Federal Reserve’s latest quarterly survey of senior loan officers’ observations of lending practices, at least on the consumer side of the equation. The survey, which also included commercial and business lending, found not much had changed for better or worse. To wit: Banks again reported an increased willingness

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