In a time when a flattened economy and new regulations impact bank revenues, free checking accounts are quite simply more expensive. Some banks have taken the action of increasing fees on a number of products and services to recoup lost revenue, and free checking is a product that has been affected.
The cost of maintaining personal checking accounts for most banks is about $250 to $300 per year, according to industry estimates. Some banks report that new regulations have turned many of the accounts unprofitable, resulting in the continued decline in the prevalence of free checking. A recent Bankrate, Inc. survey found that only 39% of the major banks in the United States offer noninterest checking accounts that have no fees.