Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) To Cut Free Checking Option to New Customers

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) will no longer be offering free checking accounts to all new customres that open accounts at the bank, said the bank in a statement on Friday.

The San Francisco-based bank, one of the largest retail banks, will charge new customers a $5.00 monthly fee for its basic checking account service on July 1st, eliminating two types of free account services that the bank had previously offered.

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) spokeswoman Julia Tunis Bernard said the move will only affect a small percentage of new customers, since most new accounts open what the company calls “checking packages,” or a bundle of banking services which qualifies customers for free checking. New customres can have the fee waived by maintaining a $1,500 average daily account balance or having a direct deposit transaction of $250.00 or more.

The new fee structure will not affect existing Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) or Wachovia customers.

The move by Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) comes as Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) and other large U.S. banks are bringing back account fees and other service charges as financial reform has limited the fees that banks can collect from overdraft charges and other non-interest income.

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