Another big bank will be increasing the monthly fee on its basic checking account, citing regulatory reasons. Citizens Bank plans to raise the monthly service fee on its Green Checking account in April.
Starting with statement cycles beginning on or after April 23, the Green Checking account will have a monthly fee of $9.99, up from the current $4.99.
“As part of an evaluation of our products and services that began a year and a half ago, we have begun notifying customers of changes that are making to some accounts,” said a Citizens Bank spokesperson in an email.
The new fee will apply to current and new Green Checking customers.
There will be no changes to the account’s fee waiver requirements. Customers can continue to avoid the monthly account fee with an average balance of $1,500 or by making five qualifying payment transactions per month, which include ATM withdrawals, direct payments, online bill payments, debit card purchases and paid checks.
Citizens Bank’s decision follows moves taken by other big banks, which have resorted to adding or raising fees on checking accounts to recoup loss revenue from the debit card swipe-fee caps that went into effect in October.
“These changes are designed to make our offerings more uniform and easier to understand, and also to make them more economically sustainable in the light of recent regulatory and legislative changes affecting our industry,” the Citizens Bank spokesperson added.
Before the new rules, banks collected an average of 44 cents per debit card transaction from merchants. Now, that amount is reduced by roughly one half at 21 to 24 cents per transaction.
Small banks with less than $10 billion in assets are exempt from the fee limit but Citizens Bank is far from a small bank.
The Providence, R.I.-based bank is the fifteenth-largest bank in the U.S. by assets, according to SNL Financial. Citizens Bank holds $132 billion in total assets and $92 billion in total deposits and operates more than 1,500 branches and roughly 3,900 ATMs across its 12-state footprint in the Northeast.