Area pays price for overdrafts
Average $27.70 fee 4th-highest in U.S.
The Chicago area has been called the U.S. banking industry's most competitive major metropolitan market.
A lot of good that does Chicagoans who overdraw their checking accounts.
Area financial institutions charge the fourth-highest overdraft fee, an average of $27.70, according to a new survey by MoebsServices, a Lake Bluff-based economics research firm.
The U.S. average is $25.67.
Overdraft fees could climb in light of the nation's financial meltdown, saidMike Moebs, chief executive of the company.
"With the current wave of bank mergers and the likelihood of more to come, customers of newly merged, bigger banks should prepare for escalating checking fees," he said.
The priciest market is Miami, at $30.26. Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, are Washington, D.C., and Denver.Philadelphia rounds out the Top 5.
The lowest-priced city was San Francisco ($22.39).Big banks, which the report defines as having assets of at least $20 billion, average bigger overdraft fees than smaller credit unions and community banks, defined as having assets of less than $100 million.