So far banks, not taxpayers, are bailing out the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s bank insurance fund. But you still pay for it in nickels and dimes. Bank fees are up and interest on deposits is down - by quite a bit, according to Changing Times, the Kiplinger magazine.
C&S-Sovran Corp., the 12th largest chain of banks in the country, is the latest to apply the interest rate on interest-bearing checking accounts to only 88 percent of the balance. A Sovran or Citizens & Southern customer with a $1,000 average balance in April earned 5 percent on $880 and nothing on the remaining $120. That works out to an effective interest rate of only 4.4 percent on the full $1,000.Banks must tell you whether they're paying interest on less than your whole balance, but they're not required to compute the effective rate.
This sleight of hand could catch on as FDIC insurance premiums for banks keep climbing. Dominion Bank, in Virginia, for one, says it's considering the practice.