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Consumer deposit fees drop at US banks, thrifts in Q1'19

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Consumer deposit fees drop at US banks, thrifts in Q1'19

U.S. banks and thrifts reported $4.17 billion in consumer deposit fees in the first quarter, down from $4.57 billion in the last quarter of 2018 and $4.23 billion in the year-ago period.

Lower overdraft fees were responsible for most of the quarterly decline, dropping to $2.72 billion in the first quarter from $3.06 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Altogether, consumer deposit service charges and fees dropped to 2.04% of operating revenue in the first quarter, the lowest level since banks started detailed fee reporting in 2015.

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Bank of America NA, the nation's second-largest bank by assets, reported $733.0 million in service charges and fees in the first quarter, the most of any bank in the country. Approximately 3.84% of Bank of America's operating revenue came from service charges and fees, compared to the industry median of 1.85%.

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Smaller community banks constitute a majority of the institutions most reliant on fees as a percentage of operating revenue. Among the top 20 banks by fees as a percentage of operating revenue, only two had more than $10 billion in assets. TD Bank NA, the largest bank in this group, with $301.45 billion in assets, derived 9.61% of its operating revenue from fees.

The top three banks most dependent on service fees as a percentage of operating revenue maintain a large portion of branches in Walmart stores. More than 40% of Killeen, Texas-based First National Bank Texas's operating revenue came from deposit fees and charges in the first quarter, more than any other bank in the country.

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Commercial banks, savings banks, and savings and loan associations report service fees from consumer deposits in schedule RI of the call report. Click here to see the aggregate data for U.S. commercial banks (scroll to the bottom).

Click here to access an Excel template showing the keyfields used to pull the list of companies with the highest service fees-to-operating revenue ratios in the first quarter of 2019.