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Consumer Confidential: New Citi bank fee, grocery strike closer

September 16, 2011 | 10:16 am

Citipic Here's your flash-in-the-pan Friday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- Another new bank fee? You betcha. Our friends at Citigroup say they'll start charging a monthly fee of $10 on checking and savings accounts with combined balances of less than $1,500, joining a growing list of banks seeking to recoup revenue lost under new financial industry regulations. The fee will be waived if a customer completes one direct deposit and one online bill payment per month through an account, or maintains a balance of at least $1,500 in checking and savings accounts. The change takes effect in December. Under Citi's current fee structure, customers are not required to maintain minimum account balances but must complete five transactions a month through an account to avoid a monthly fee of $8. Citigroup says it will not charge for debit card use or online bill payment. At least not yet.

-- We're another step closer to a SoCal grocery strike. Grocery workers could go on strike as soon as Sunday night in response to inaction on healthcare benefits. Eight months into contract negotiations, Southern California grocery workers issued a 72-hour notice Thursday night to cancel a contract extension and pave the way for a strike. A strike isn't guaranteed for workers at Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons, but canceling the contract removes the final barrier to a strike. In separate statements Thursday, all three grocers said they were disappointed in the union's move and they will remain in active negotiations. Let's hope a last-minute deal can be reached.

-- David Lazarus

Photo: Citi has a new fee for account holders. Credit: Tomohiro Ohsumi / Bloomberg

 

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