Banking Overdraft Fees in the U.S.

Spring 2009 CSANews Issue 70  |   Posted date : Apr 30, 2009.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,

Recently, I decided to remove the money I had remaining in my U.S. Royal Bank chequing account because I was returning to Canada within two weeks and I thought I would take the cash and just spend whatever money I had.

I went to the bank machine and removed all that was there, with the exception of $5.00 which I felt may be needed to cover any monthly fee.

Four days before my departure, I went to the bank to officially close out the account as I didn't want any fees being charged after I returned to Canada. I was surprised to learn that I was in an overdraft position of $109. I have learned since that what showed up as the balance on the Interac machine is not necessarily the actual balance. Some purchases I had made three days before I withdrew the money were recorded three days after they had been made. They did not appear until after I had used the machine. The bank charges for the two transactions were $82. The actual amount of my overdraft was $26.88.

Unlike Canada, the amount in your account in the U.S. may not be up to date when you use an Interac machine. So checking your balance at the machine is useless and, as Canadians, we have become used to relying on the accounting of the machine being accurate to the moment. I hope this will be of use to others.

J. Laurentius

Response:
Ed: Royal Bank seems to be having quite a bit of trouble with their US RBC Centura brand. This past quarter, they took an $850 million goodwill impairment charge on their U.S. and Caribbean operations and in February, they had some serious difficulties with improper debits to some RBC Centura accounts. I thought that I would try them, personally, to see if they would be interested in my U.S. mortgage (I unfortunately still have a small one), so I dropped into their Seminole Branch in Florida. Very nice people, but no one could help me at the time; they promised to call me but to date, three months later, still no call. If I were RBC Centura, I would refund all of your ridiculous bank charges. Perhaps they will read this and do so, and I would be happy to tell everyone that they fixed this.

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