Investor Zodiac: Less Than Zero (04/08/17)

By Alan Steel

The banks must be loving this.

According to the US Government’s consumer watchdog, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Americans were hit with about $15 billion in overdraft protection and other fees in 2016. 

That works out to an average of $450 (£342) per account. 

(Wonder what ‘dog’ those folks are actually watching?)

And that figure is rising…fast. US consumers spent $11.2 billion in fees for overdrafts and insufficient funds in 2015.

Here in the UK, banks stung their customers for a combined £300m in unarranged overdraft fees last year (The Independent)

Jings!

I’ve written on many occasions that there’s over $10 trillion sitting idle in US bank accounts, and £€ trillions doing nothing in UK and European current accounts, as stock markets have been on a record breaking pace since the end of 2013. 

But it’s not sitting idle. When you add in inflation and charges it’s earning zero.

In fact, probably less than zero.

Get some advice. This is your money we’re talking about here.

Alan Steel, Chairman, Alan Steel Asset Management

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