Many moons ago, banks made a profit by investing their customer's money and reaping the dividends, even going as far as to share those dividends with their customers as a thank-you for trusting the bank with their money. These payments were called interest, because much like you borrow money to buy homes for sale in Brampton, they were borrowing your money to invest. These days, however, banks have set their sights on clients as a direct source of income and are milking them though banking fees.

With a banking fee, the bank is charging you money for the privilege of loaning them your money. If you want to move that money around, you incur further fees. Virtually everything you do at a bank or with your money means more fees. Therefore even though your covered call ETFs are supposed to be making YOU money, your bank is doing everything it can to redirect as much of the profits as possible into their own coffers. As such major banks are now among the biggest moneymaking companies in the world.

How did this happen, you may ask? Well, in the old days banks were small community affairs. The owner and employees of the bank were locals who knew their clients personally and had a vested interest in keeping them happy. Happy customers meant more business and more business meant they were able to design their own Victorian house plans and support their communities. But over the last several decades these small banks have been absorbed by bigger ones until instead of hundreds or thousands of small banks across the country, there were only a handful of huge ones that were so large they had no real connection to the customer.

That's when banking fees began. It started with fees for bouncing cheques or ordering cheques and moved on to fees for using ATMs and signing up for credit cards and checking your balance and transferring money out of your accounts. Now some banks have fees for putting money INTO your accounts. There are also fees for banking on the internet, on the phone, or going to a teller, and people are no longer able to afford a custom license plate frame.

So what can you do to avoid banking fees and keep more of your money on hand for buying groceries and diapers for the baby? Well, you can choose a bank like a credit union that keeps its fees to a minimum. All banks are different. Fees differ between accounts, too, so choose one that allows you to forego banking fees if you keep a certain balance in the account (such as $3,000 o $1,000 depending on the account type). There are ways - you just have to look for them.

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