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The bank is charging high service / activity / maintenance charges / bank fees on my checking account. Is this legal?

In some cases, yes.

Federal law allows banks to charge non-interest charges and fees, including deposit account service charges. Generally, all fees are determined on a competitive basis within the market. Banks are advised to make the decision on the type, amount, and method of calculation, based on sound banking judgment and safe and sound banking principles.

Banks must disclose certain fees associated with a deposit account when it is established. Read your account agreement for information about your bank’s policies and fees associated with your deposit account.

If you feel that your bank imposes high service charge fees, you can shop around, and purchase your financial services accordingly.

Last Reviewed: April 2021

Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

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