Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Open Letter to Amegy Bank

My bank "recently launched" External Transfers, which allow customers to transfer funds from accounts held at the bank to accounts held at other banks. In truth, the ability to send funds from AmegyBank to say, American Express, has been in place for a while. While a $2.50 per transaction fee might seem like peanuts when thousands of dollars are involved, it still chaps my hide to be charged for something that's been free until now.

Amegy's not the only bank that's discovering the power of transaction fees as a source of revenue for bolstering its bottom line. The insulting aspect is that many of the banks charging these new fees, including my bank, are also recipients of federal dollars from the U.S. Treasury Treasury Dept to shore up their balance sheets.

I wrote a note to AmegyBank this morning:

"Your recent decision to charge $2.50 per external transaction is a rip off. Why did this service magically become more expensive for you to offer?

"What was once a convenience to me is now an additional, onerous tax, leaving me to decide between paying you guys $2.50 or putting a 44-cent stamp on an envelope. Now you're going to get to process a paper check--likely at a higher transaction cost than for an electronic payment.

"I hope you people re-think this boneheaded fee: Your parent company (Zions Bank) is the recipient of $38-billion in tax-funded Federal dollars. You're benefiting from my taxes AND charging me new fees?
That's unconscionable. "

The way things are going, I'll probably be charged a fee for them to read my message.

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