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With all the hype surrounding the explosion of mobile banking and other brand new emerging technologies, it’s easy to overlook the simpler aspects of banking, like cashing a check. After a recent wave of checking account-related fee increases, TD Bank is quietly sliding in this brand new one.

For non-customers, cashing a check that draws on a TD Bank account will cost $5 starting February 1, 2012, according to a TD Bank customer service representative. Since TD Bank (NYSE: TD) recently raised fees on services such as wire transfers and money orders, we can just group this new fee with the rest.

Other banks have adopted this practice in the past while some chose to keep the service free. Chase (NYSE: JPM) and Bank of America® (NYSE: BAC) both charge $6 to cash their checks for non-customers, while Citibank chooses to keep this service free with proper identification as long as the check is under $5,000 – any more and they won’t pay out.

New Fees Target Underbanked

While the banked community may furrow their brow and keep in mind to not go to TD Bank to cash checks, day-to-day operations will remain the same. However, the underbanked are the real losers from this new fee. For them, it means another bank will charge them to cash a check, from TD Bank itself no less, further legitimizing and strengthening alternative cash-checking services.

The convenience of certain banking operations has caused banks to raise fees or attempt to impose new ones. The most infamous example is of course the horrible Bank of America® $5 debit card snafu, which flopped after the entire banking community revolted.

It is a fact of banking that fees will be raised, and yet no other bank has managed to infuriate customers as much as BofA. This simple, new fee from TD Bank helps to illustrate why.

Unlike BofA’s debit card fee, this check-cashing fee will be imposed on non-customers, which most would agree is acceptable. No one would get upset at their own bank for charging non-customers for its services. If anything, this would deter non-customers from using the service, keeping lines shorter.

Granted the checks in question come from TD Bank so they can easily verify the money is in the account, but when you enter a different bank you know you are subject to their rules.

For non-customers who regularly cash TD Bank checks (probably not many), the cost-cutting move would be to open a checking account at any financial institution (not just TD Bank).

A TD Bank spokesperson did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Last year, TD Bank was named the Best East Coast Bank by Money Magazine and TD Bank garners a 4-star rating on its Bank Report Card.

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  • toe jam

    TD bank are saying to their customers that a check they write is in inconvenient so they are charging  this fee.I recommend you find another bank or if someone writes you a TD check add  a $5 service charge it will make the stink roll back on them in the form of complaints

    • casper

      total agree on charging the writer of the check that $5.00 fee.
      us bank does this also as im sure many more do. but that is what i do if a customer is writing me a check from that bank. if they dont like it i tell them to take it up with their bank or pay cash

  • Gladdis

    I’m closing my account at TD Bank.  It’s time for people to stand together and stop being ripped off by the big banks.

  • Matt41272

    I’m a TD customer so this really doesn’t impact me. Not costing me anything. So, if you don’t want to pay the fee, why not just cash it at your own bank?

    • buggymuffin

      Maybe you don’t have a bank, your bank is in another city,state, etc. …

  • Mr. Vassor

    I have had the same problem more then once. Each time they took $5.00 from the funds issued. I made a complaint to Federal Reserve Consumer Help. Web address phone# 855 411 2372. They responded immediately, I think the more reported complaints the better chance someone really might pay attention.

  • I understand a fee but $5.00 is really a big fee! For something that was free to begin with.
    A dollar is sufficiant enough and they ewill make millions on that alone so get realistic.

  • Just got stung on this by TD BankNorth. Now if they are charging $5 for non-customers to cash a check drawn on their own bank (which in my case was $50, so it was a 10% fee—the highest I’ve ever even paid at a check cashing outlet), what sort of incentive does that give me to ever open an account with them? Zero. The fee is bogus. Banks need to be reigned in. They get to fractionalize the nation’s money supply, which the cause of inflation, then nickel and dime us to death, too. I’ll be going out of my way to make sure everybody I know avoids doing business with TD BankNorth.

  • pv roofing

    I own two small businesses, and I will no longer be accepting checks from TD bank.

  • BarbL

    I gave a contractor a check for $500.00 to purchase material I needed for a project. He went to my bank, TD, to cash it.Their computer was down so it could not be cashed at that time. He called me and when I checked on line I found out that it was now working. He drove back (I don’t have to remind anyone what the cost of gas is) and stood in line again. The teller informed him that there was a $5.00 fee to cash a check for non customers, which he was. What am I, chopped liver? I am a customer of their bank and they weren’t providing him with their money, they were giving him my money because I authorized it. Since I have direct deposit for my Social Security Benefits, cash hardly ever crosses my fingers. The nearest TD bank is about 7 miles away and not convenient to pop in regularly for cash. I thought checks were for my convenience, not another ploy for TD bank to gouge their customers. Who do they think will ultimately pay for that charge….their customers, of course. What person is going to take a check for materials or work they have done when they will be charged to cash it ? If they have a bank account somewhere else it might not be feasible for them to go there at the time. And why on earth would TD not cash that check unless and until that person either pays the ransom fee or opens up an account with them, which the funds, of course, would not be available immediately. This policy and the $2.50 fee for non TD ATMs withdrawals makes this bank suck even more than ever.

    I did call the bank and after all the bs (bank speak) which changed nothing, I asked the supervisor if my 15 year old granddaughter would have to pay $5.00 to cash her birthday check from me, he said “YES”. Does this sound scrupulous?