D.C. Drawback: Bigger Bank Fees
Washington Post (08/09/00) Vol. 190, No. 2 p.E1; Day, Kathleen

A recent survey commissioned by the Federal Reserve Board shows that Washington, D.C.-area consumers pay more in banking fees than most other banking customers in the country. Conducted by Moebs Services Inc., the study shows that banks are relying more on fees to raise profits. The study found that the Washington area exceeded the national standard, beating out cities such as Houston and New York. Although Moebs President Ken Williams said he cannot say exactly why this is so, he did pinpoint the transient lifestyle of Washingtonians as a possible culprit. According to Williams, most Washington-area residents are on the go so often that when they do need cash, they often have to rely on getting it from a bank they do not patronize. Another reason he cited is that markets where fees are higher are typically dominated by large banks, which tend to fine more. Also contributing to the problem is the recent flurry of mergers, which have led to tremendous consolidations. In Washington, for example, most local banks have been taken over by larger rivals.

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