Stop Increasing Bank Fees that Target Struggling Customers

suntrust

Target: SunTrust Bank CEO William Rogers

Goal: Limit the increase of banking fees, which hurt students and those who are struggling financially.

SunTrust, a bank based in Atlanta and prolific across the Southeast, will become the next major bank to increase their fees. Most checking account holders, including student checking, will be faced with a $7 monthly fee if they do not maintain a minimum balance of $1500 (raised from $500). Overdraft charges will also increase from $25 to $36. Customers will also lose ATM fee reimbursement benefits for transactions at non-SunTrust ATMS. Increasing fees will affect students, the unemployed, and the poor who cannot maintain minimum balance requirements. Checking accounts are a necessity in our society and should not discriminate against those who are already struggling to survive financially.

Imagine losing your job or struggling with a low income, and on top of it being assessed a monthly fee taking away more precious funds. SunTrust spokesman Hugh Suhr attempted to explain the increase in fees by stating, ‘The pricing changes reflect the costs of doing business and staying competitive with other banks.’ Unfortunately, all major banks impart similar if not higher fees on their customers, burdening the poorest in the process. Financial regulation changes over the last few years have cut into large banks’ revenue. Banks have seen a reduction in their take of overdraft fees and a lowering of debit card swipe fees. To make up for these losses they look to their customers in the form of fees.

Public outcry against major banks such as Bank of America has brought this issue to the forefront. However, it has not stopped banks like SunTrust from becoming the next in line to increase fees. Customers do have choices and can switch to credit unions, but often like the convenience of the major banks.

Increasing fees that affect students, unemployed, and the poor need to stop. By signing this petition you are asking SunTrust to limit and reduce their increasing fees to fairly accommodate their customers.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Rogers,

SunTrust will be raising fees on many of its popular checking accounts this summer. Fees will be raised on everything from checking account minimum balances, to overdraft fees, to ATM fees. Increasing fees will affect students, the unemployed, and the poor who cannot maintain minimum balance requirements, and who also cannot afford to lose money in fees. Imagine losing your job or struggling with a low income, and on top of it being assessed a monthly fee taking away more precious funds. Checking accounts are a necessity in our society and should not discriminate against those who are already struggling to survive financially.

Changes in financial regulations have cut into banks’ revenues from overdraft fees and debit card swipe fees. However, it is unfair to recoup those losses from customers, many of whom cannot afford to pay the fees, but are forced to because they cannot maintain a minimum balance.

Customers do have choices and can switch to credit unions, but often enjoy the convenience of a major bank like SunTrust. Increasing fees that affect the poorest customers the most will not help you retain your customer base. Please limit and reduce your planned fee increases to fairly accommodate your customers.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. Sending a petition is certainly a great idea, but there is much more that one can do to fight banks. One of the best strategies is to encourage members of the media to quit acting like a mouthpiece for banks’ PR spin doctors by republishing the industry’s standard excuse: “poor pitiful banks had to raise fees because of new regulations.” For more about SunTrust’s increasing quarterly revenues, see my post here:

    http://www.changeinterms.com/2012/08/06/suntrust-increased-minimum-balance-requirement-backfires/

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