Large Banks Adopt New Standards for Low-Cost Accounts

The four largest nationwide banks — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo — have implemented or agreed to implement the Bank On National Account Standards for bank products that are low-cost, low-fee and overdraft-free.

The Bank On standards are for a checking or prepaid account, including checkless checking. The minimum opening deposit is less than $25 and a non-waivable monthly maintenance fee is capped at $5. Overdrafts are not permitted. In-network ATM use, branch access, phone banking, direct deposit, online bill pay, alerts, statements and in-bank check cashing are free, and deposits are federally insured.

The banks’ participation in Bank On was announced at an event on Tuesday in San Francisco, which like many cities is home to a local Bank On coalition that will encourage more depository institutions to offer products that align with the Bank On standards. “Bringing accounts that meet these standards into more communities, including to low- and moderate-income people, will benefit families, communities, and financial institutions,” said FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg at the event. “Financial institutions will benefit as they meet the convenience and needs of a broader range of consumers in a way that expands each institution’s ability to grow in a more diverse and dynamic environment.”