Citibank backhands American middle class


If you have more than $15,000 in your checking account – and who doesn’t these days – you won’t be impacted by the raft of new fees being imposed at Citibank.

If not, get ready to be legally pickpocketed. Again.

That’s right, Citigroup, the financial services giant that helped precipitate the economic meltdown we’re still living through, has decided it deserves even more money from the average Americans that bailed it out. So, the New York-based company is raising checking fees at its Citibank consumer banking arm.

Citi increased the minimum balance for its mid-level Citibank Account 150 percent to $15,000 from $6,000. Fail to meet that new standard and you’re looking at a $20 a month penalty. Citi imposed a $15 monthly fee for anyone who doesn’t keep at least $6,000 a month in its EZ Checking account.

bankLast month, Citi announced that it was hiking the fee for its Basic Banking account from $8 to $10. The new charges at Citibank come a week after Bank of America announced it would be imposing a new $5 monthly fee for debit card users – in effect a charge for spending your own money.

Wells Fargo, JP Morgan, Sun Trust and Regions Financial have all also rolled out similar fees in select markets in recent weeks.

“We don’t expect to pay nothing to ride the train,” Nessa Feddis of the American Bankers Association told CNNMoney in defense of the new fees. “It’s the same thing with a checking account.”

Middle class American Tom Hagan, 60, doesn’t see it that way. The Bayside, New York, resident says people need to express their feelings about these greed fees with their pocket books. Unlike Feedis, Hagan wasn’t being paid by the group he was defending.

“Take your money out off the big banks and put it in the credit unions,” Hagan counseled his fellow middle class Americans.

The Vietnam Vet apparently hasn’t heard of his obligation to exploit his fellow Americans.

Most credit unions have not imposed new fees in the middle of one of the deepest economic slowdown since The Great Depression, which has left more than 14 million Americans unemployed.