Wells Fargo is forcing a fee of $5 for online statements and $7 for paper statements for those who have Essential Checking accounts and do not meet minimum balance or deposit requirements. Who will this impact? The poor, who are in need of these accounts to keep their money safe, but are unable to keep up minimum balance or deposit requirements.
The way this worded presents an attempt to nickel and dime those who don't have the capacity to spare even a dollar. For many years, one of the perks to having a checking account was that there were no balance requirements. People with little money, such as children and unemployed, could have a bank account to keep their money safe and be better able to manage their finances. People could put in what they needed, and not have to worry. Wells Fargo is now changing this. Children who have their parents put in money little by little into their accounts will start losing bits of their money every month. The unemployed, who cannot sign up for direct deposit, and need their money pay for bills, will lose more of their money, just for wanting a paper statement to help them keep track of what little funds they have left.
Wells Fargo isn't a company in such great need that they need to impose a fee on their least able customers. They need to drop this policy before it's implementation on August 7, or else customers who fail to meet their requirements will start seeing these fees appear September 10.
An exerpt from the notice in regards to this fee:
Important change to your Essential Checking account
Effective August 7, 2012, your Essential Checking account will have a $5 monthly service fee with online only statements ($7 with paper statements). This fee can be waived with one of the following:
Maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance, or
Maintain qualifying direct deposits totaling $500 or more each statement cycle*
If you do not meet one of the criteria above, the monthly service fee will appear on your account statement on or after September 10, 2012.
*A qualifying direct deposit is a direct deposit of your salary, pension, Social Security or other regular monthly income, electronically deposited to your Essential Checking account by your employer or an outside agency. Transfers from one account to another, or deposits made at a banking location or ATM, do not qualify as a direct deposit.