Bank Fee Waiver Generates Huge Member Response

Applies Only To State Chartered Banks

JUNE 20, 2014: “In our July 2014 issue of the Voice, we included an article reporting on the Association’s successful enactment in 1984 of a law that prohibited a bank from imposing any fee or assessment on a checking or savings account of a person 65 or over,” according to Publisher Nancy Delaney. “We termed it the "Bank Fee Waiver Law".

“As it turns out, this article generated a huge number of calls and emails. A predominant question from our members is why their bank isn’t waiving the monthly maintenance fee. Here’s probably the answer.

Remember the Bank Fee Waiver Law was enacted some 30 years ago as part of the state law that governs state chartered banks. Back then, most neighborhood banks were issued their charters to operate by the state.

But times have definitely changed over the ensuing decades, and with all the mergers and consolidations, the neighborhood banks have been replaced by national conglomerates that are not state chartered but federally chartered, for example Citizens Bank and Bank of America.

Federal, not state, law governs federally chartered banks. For these banks the 1984 law does not apply.

“So unfortunately you may find that when you inquire at your bank about the Waiver Law, you may be told that it doesn’t apply to them,” continued Delaney. “Most likely that’s because they’re are federally – not state – chartered bank.

“And as we said in the article’s closing, it’s at least worthwhile to check it out with your bank. You never know until you ask.”