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October 8, 1998

Local banks to add more surcharges

BOSTON — A spokesman for the Boston banking community announced yesterday that many area banks would be adding a surcharge onto their monthly bank fees in an effort to "squeeze every last goddamn dime out of consumers."

Tom Wakefield, a representative of the Community Banking Network (CBN), a consortium of local banks, spoke to reporters at a press conference. "From now on, not only will bank customers be charged fees for monthly banking services, ATM use and breathing fresh bank air," said Wakefield, "they will now have surcharges added on to those fees because of the growing costs to banks for charging customers those fees in the first place."

Local banks set up yesterday’s press conference as a way to explain to customers the nature of the new and expanded fee structure. In addition to the monthly and ATM fees, banks will now charge customers for use of revolving doors — approximately $4.80 per 360-degree rotation — as well as a $10 penalty for transactions made while standing.

According to CBN, the fees are designed to make banking easier for customers.

"Now that banks are charging $50 dollars for waiting in line, we anticipate shorter lines for customers to wait in, and less work for our overwhelmed tellers," said Wakefield. "Two or three customers in line is one thing, but when a teller sees four or five they start to sweat."

Wakefield also elaborated on the banks’ new withdrawal policies. "When you say, ‘Can I have my money,’ we say, ‘No!’ Then, when you say ‘C’mon, but it’s my money!’ we say ‘Okay, but we’ll have to charge you a $500 fee.’"

The fees will also help alleviate the financial problems faced by many banks. The banks have been hit especially hard by the rising costs of velvet rope, which banks consider instrumental for proper customer line formation and general snazziness.

"We need velvet rope, goddammit," said downtown BankBoston manager Vince Cruthers. "Otherwise we risk a breakdown in line structure, which translates into banking anarchy. And the Japs control the global velvet rope trade. So until synthetic velvet rope is available, we need to either bomb Kyoto — which by the way has remained relatively untouched — or we charge customers up the wazoo."

CBN President Bernard Hauser said that the increased fees were inevitable. "No one should be surprised by these surcharges," he said. "Did you really think the sets of steak knives and toasters we gave away in the ‘70s and ‘80s weren’t going to have financial ramifications in the ‘90s?"

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