Banks Show Signs of Humanity in Wake of Sandy

Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 04:28 PM

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Banks took hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money when Washington bailed them out in wake of the 2008 financial crisis, only to return with tight purse strings and fresh fees to slap on customers.

Today, they’re giving back in wake of superstorm Sandy.

Citigroup, Wells Fargo and TD Bank have waived out-of-network ATM fees for customers in areas ravaged by Sandy, The Motley Fool reports, adding that JPMorgan Chase is waiving overdraft fees, while Bank of America and Capital One are handling fee woes as they arise.

Editor's Note: You Deserve to Know What Obama and Bernanke Are Hiding From Americans

Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo are waiving late-payment fees for credit cards and consumer loans through Nov. 1.

“All this sounds like the right thing for banks to do for their customers. But it’s also good business for them,” said The Motley Fool’s Dan Caplinger.

Waiving fees might allow banks to sidestep stress related to the storm and return to normalcy quicker.

“Many major banks, especially those headquartered in New York City, are facing major internal disruptions at the moment. Banks with customer service call centers in areas affected by the storm are short-staffed at exactly the time when their customers will put the greatest demands on them,” Caplinger writes.

“Many unusual situations will likely tax the ability of rank-and-file customer service representatives and their supervisors to address customer needs.”

Meanwhile, Wall Street reopened on Wednesday after Sandy halted trading for two days.

Trading went smoothly though investors were cautious and wary of technical glitches such as those that sparked the Flash Crash of May in 2010 — when the Dow dropped hundreds of points and then regained it within minutes.

Stocks opened higher and then erased earlier gains.

“Today, traders are more heightened to a flash crash more than any day prior,” Rick Fier, director of equity trading at Conifer Securities in New York, told Bloomberg.

“Nobody cares about if the market goes up or down. You just want to make sure the market is functioning properly. With the better opening, it made the decision to sell that much easier.”

Editor's Note: You Deserve to Know What Obama and Bernanke Are Hiding From Americans

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