I have been a Royal Bank member since 1986 when I needed a place to put my cash when I first arrived in university. At the time, it used to be a nice place, you go in and talk to someone and they help you out.
I remember thinking how great cash machines and cash cards were, and they didn't cost anything extra.
It didn't take long for the banks to realize that they could gouge you for a little bit more on each and every transaction, or at least ensure that you were spending a minimum of $10 every month for your transactions.
No bank I have ever been to has been anything but think that I should be gloriously happy they will work with me at all. As an institution, any bank is a money grubbing slime-ball who wants to tear away every cent they can, since 1 cent taken from every individual adds up to millions per year. AND, of course, they don't do 1 cent, they do $2 or $1.10. It always sounds so reasonable when they say, "It's just a small fee."
Every single one of their services used to cost more than it does now, since there was a person doing it. Now, it is almost all automated and they charge just a little bit more for every bit you look at or transfer or save. The charges just creep up too.
I had an account sitting in Canada that was happy to do nothing, there was something like $50 in it. I didn't pay any attention to it, since I've been living in New Zealand for the last 6.5 years but I looked at it and it was in negative numbers, since they've been deducting $2/month from it for the couple of years.
I'm sure they sent me the memo, and they think it's all justified.
I HATE banks. They used to be better and now they are simply worse in every possible way and make BILLIONS every year. That's just BILLIONS of reasons to hate them I think. How much of that is in service charges?
Even 10 years ago when I checked, service charges amounted to 7% of the Royal Bank's total profit. That was 70 million dollars. I guess it's easy to find another way to hide a fee from a bunch of poor morons who don't watch their accounts like a hawk or blow their bank manager to reduce fees.