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Wells Fargo Expanding Checking Fees

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) on Thursday announced it would expand its $7 checking account fees in six new states, keeping up the new-fee drum beat as banks continue to find ways to find new revenues.

The fee applies to existing holders of Wells Fargo’s “Essential Checking” accounts, but customers with a $1,500 minimum daily balance or those with direct deposits of $500 more per month will be exempt from paying the fee. The program will go into effect on May 4 in Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Wells Fargo has charged a $7 fee for all new checking accounts since 2010, but the bank originally grandfathered existing customers in. However, WFC slowly has been charging the $7 fee to existing customers in a handful of states.

The move follows Bank of America’s (NYSE:BAC) announcement last week that it was testing out fees ranging from $6 to $25 for its checking accounts — a turnaround from last fall, when banks across the country backed down from plans to implement debit-card fees after massive consumer protests. Banking giants Citigroup (NYSE:C) and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) also have some form of fee on basic checking accounts, which also can be waived after meeting certain requirements.

— Kyle Woodley, InvestorPlace Assistant Editor

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