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Ally Bank Survey Explores Consumer Sentiment on Bank Fees

Consumers say no to fees and are unaware of how much they’re already paying


MIDVALE, Utah -- Buzz about bank fees has reached an all-time high and a new survey conducted by Ally Bank has identified what consumers consider the least acceptable bank fees, what they really want out of their banks and whether they know what they’re paying right now.

Part of Ally Bank’s survey sought to find out if consumers are aware of how much they are already paying in ATM fees. When respondents were asked how much they estimate Americans pay in ATM fees per year, only nine percent of respondents chose the correct answer. According to consulting firm Oliver Wyman, Americans spent $7.1 billion in ATM fees in 2010. Most respondents chose answers well below that, with answers ranging from $100 million to $2 billion on the high end.

Respondents were also asked to identify which banking fees they feel are acceptable. Dissatisfaction with fees of several kinds was revealed with the responses, including:

* 84 percent of respondents do NOT believe it is acceptable to charge a fee for checking
* 79 percent do NOT believe it is okay to charge a monthly maintenance fee
* 77 percent do NOT think it is all right to charge an ATM fee

“At Ally Bank, we are focused on providing banking products that make people sense,” said Diane Morais, deposits executive at Ally Bank. "What that means is that we are always looking to make sure we are meeting the needs of our customers through products and services that offer great value.

“To support that commitment, we don’t charge monthly maintenance fees, we provide 24/7 live customer services and offer a debit rewards program, Ally Perks.”

According to the survey, a majority (56 percent) of respondents also believe that a “fair” fee for using an ATM is $0—no fee at all. However, a survey by reports the average fee banks charge noncustomers to use their ATMs is $2.40, with the most common fee charged now at $3.

Also, more than half of those polled on behalf of Ally Bank (53 percent) said they would rather take time to search for a free ATM than pay a fee for the closest, time-saving option.

“We understand that our customers are busy,” continued Morais. “But, we don’t think they should have to pay to access their money. So we don’t charge customers to make withdrawals from their Ally Bank account at an ATM and we reimburse all ATM fees nationwide that other banks may charge.”

Ally Bank’s value proposition focuses on providing customer-friendly products, services and features like the easy-to-use debit rewards program Ally Perks, 24/7 live customer service, the person-to-person payment option Popmoney and remote deposit service Ally eCheck Deposit.

Editor’s Note

A telephone survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation among a national probability sample of 1,016 adults comprising 510 men and 506 women 18 years of age and older, living in private households throughout the continental U.S. Interviewing was completed during the period of Oct. 20 to 23, 2011. The margin of error for the survey was +/- 2 percent.

About Ally Bank

Ally Bank is a direct bank in the U.S. that offers a straightforward approach to banking with no minimum deposit required to open an account, no monthly maintenance fees and 24/7 live customer service. A subsidiary of Ally Financial Inc., the bank offers online savings, interest checking, money market accounts, certificates of deposit with terms ranging from three months to five years and IRA Plans and products. Follow us on Twitter @allybank or at Member FDIC. For more information, visit the Ally media site at


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