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Banks Respond to Hurricane Sandy by Forgiving Fees

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Banks Respond to Hurricane Sandy by Forgiving Fees

As residents along the nation’s east coast attempt to recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy, one thing they won’t have to worry about is bank fees that might have been incurred during the chaos of the storm.

As the hurricane tore through the northeast on Monday and Tuesday, many people received emails from their financial institutions assuring them that bank fees would be waived or refunded for the duration of the storm and its immediate aftermath.

With New York City subways shut down and shorelines flooded up and down the east coast, many bank branches were closed and ATMs were without power. As a result, most banks will forgive fees for bounced checks, foreign ATM withdrawals, late payments, and other storm-related financial mishaps.

Citi, Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo Forgive Fees

Banks differed in their fee-forgiveness policies, with some listing specific fees that would be waived and others issuing a more general statement offering leniency to customers impacted by the storm.

Citi’s message to customers offered assistance as well as amnesty from fees, reading in part: “If you have been impacted by the storm, we are ready to assist with access to cash, fee waivers, and more . . . if you need assistance, please contact customer service and we will work to help with your individual needs.”

Wells Fargo spelled out its storm-relief terms, saying that from Monday October 29 through Thursday November 1, they will waive late fees for credit card payments, consumer and “certain” small business loans, home-equity, auto and student loans. They will also waive foreign ATM fees incurred during this time frame, for customers in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Chase also said they would waive fees for overdrafts and late fees on credit cards and consumer, student, and business loans.

Bank of America said they would have a “no questions asked” policy regarding the storm. Any Bank of America customer who is charged a banking fee during this time can contact their bank to request a refund, if they are in a storm-affected area.

Bank and credit card customers should not hesitate to ask for fees to be forgiven if they have experienced hardship due to Hurricane Sandy.

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