Some Wells Fargo customers to pay new monthly fees

Starting in June, some Wells Fargo customers with free checking accounts will have to a pay $5 to  $7  a month. The bank started moving customers with basic checking accounts in 23 states to the fees last year and is now expanding to Georgia and five other states.

Wells Fargo spokesman Jay Lawrence says the fees are a result of recent regulatory changes and the competitive banking environment. He says customers can avoid the fees if they have a minimum balance of $1500 or make direct deposits of at least $500 a month.

“So 80% of our customers will be able to avoid the fee, just like 80% of our customers avoid any monthly service charges.”

But consumer advocacy organization Georgia Watch is concerned about fees that Wells Fargo and several other large banks have begun charging.

Liz Coyle is a spokesperson for the organization:

“These banks are finding ways to charge them fees that in our opinion we really don’t think are necessary, so we do think consumers should take a look at other options out there including credit unions and local community banks.”

Wells Fargo says it provides customers with a good value for the services they receive.