Bank Fees Are Hiding Everywhere

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LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 29:  A customer uses a Bank of America ATM on September 29, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Bank of America annouced its plans to start charging a $5 monthly fee for customers using their debit card for purchases starting early in 2012.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: A customer uses a Bank of America ATM on September 29, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Bank of America annouced its plans to start charging a $5 monthly fee for customers using their debit card for purchases starting early in 2012. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) Photo: Kevork Djansezian/2011 Getty Images

It seemed like a victory for consumers when some good, old-fashioned customer outrage got Bank of America to drop a proposed debit card fee, but it's not that simple. Banks just learned that they have to be quieter about imposing new fees or raising prices to make up for billions in lost income. According to one estimate, banks need to earn "between $15 and $20 a month from each depositor just to earn what they did in the past." That's a lot of small print.