Charging people to deposit? Really?
It seems an odd problem to have, this “too much cash” thing. I don’t know that most of us can relate. But it seems that in times of economic insecurity, those who used to invest in stocks are simply holding their money in banks, and now bankers are inundated with money. So what’s the solution? Charge people to deposit. Or, at least some of the people, at some banks anyway…
Though financial institutions are not yet turning away customers at the door, they are trying to discourage some depositors from parking that cash with them. With fewer attractive lending and investment options for that money, it is harder for the banks to turn it around for a healthy profit.
In August, Bank of New York Mellon warned that it would impose a 0.13 percentage point fee on the deposits of certain clients who were moving huge piles of cash in and out of their accounts.
Others are finding more subtle ways to stem the flow. Besides paying next to nothing on consumer checking accounts and certificates of deposit, some giants — like JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo — are passing along part of the cost of federal deposit insurance to some of their small-business customers.
Even some community banks, vaunted for their little-guy orientation, no longer seem to mind if you take your money somewhere else.
“We just don’t need it anymore,” said Don Sturm, the owner of American National Bank and Premier Bank, community lenders with 43 branches in Colorado and three other states. “If you had more money than you knew what to do with, would you want more?”
Well, Neatoramanauts? What say you? Does charging money to hold your money seem counter-intuitive, or is this a good tactic for discouraging large-sum depositors from parking away their millions in a vault?