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Banks Hit You with Fees Even on the Way Out

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Closing a bank account involves more than just signing on the dotted line and saying good-bye.  It also means reaching into your pocketbook if your money is in one of the country’s 10 largest banks.

In a survey of the top 10 banks -- Bank of America, BB&T, Chase, Citibank, HSBC, PNC, SunTrust, TD Bank, US Bank and Wells Fargo -- Consumers Union staff attorney Suzanne Martindale said, “Banks have added all sorts of fees on basic checking accounts, which has raised alarm bells.  But when you hit (the) breaking point and want to move your money, guess what you encounter: more fees.”

All told, customers could wind up spending a maximum of $55 after various fees are factored in.

You can basically forget about your bank making a free same-day electronic transfer.  Those transfers to your new bank can cost as much as $30.  Even getting a certified check may set you back $10.

There are also penalties to contend with such as paying $25 if accounts you want to close have been open for under 90 days or less than 180 days, depending on where you bank.

The hassles don’t even include the delays people encounter when they open new accounts, which can run from a couple of days to two weeks due to paperwork.

Consumers Union also says that re-routing automatic payments and direct deposits into a new account can take up to six weeks in some cases. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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