As Big Banks Hike Fees, Community Banks Gain Customers

Customers of the country’s largest banks are expressing outrage over new fees on debit cards and checking accounts. That anger is translating to new business for community banks.

printed moneyBank of America has been dealing with a backlash since announcing it would institute a $5 a month fee when customers use debit cards for purchases. Citibank heaped more fuel on the fire, saying it would soon charge a $20 monthly fee for checking accounts.

Christopher Williston, president and CEO of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas, says Texas community banks are now seeing an upsurge in customers.

“It’s just one more thing in a long pattern of a lot of smaller customers, small business customers, that have begun moving their accounts to some of the other smaller institutions. There’s been a lot of branch closings of those larger banks. They’ve announced some layoffs. Certainly, it’s something that plays right in the hands of other financial institutions to grow their account business.”

Williston says the lower overhead community banks have mean they don’t have to charge the fees larger banks do in order to make a profit.




Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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