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Citigroup Raises Fees, 'Simplifies' Accounts

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Citigroup (C - Get Report) raised its monthly service fee on basic checking and savings accounts, joining the wave of banks looking for offsets from lost revenues following new banking regulations.

Customers would have to pay a flat $10 monthly service fee for the "Basic Banking" package, up from $8 currently.

However, the bank said it would "simplify" banking relationships by offering ways for clients to avoid the monthly service fee.

Customers can avoid the fee if they make one direct deposit and online bill payment every month. Clients can also avoid a monthly service fee by maintaining $1,500 in combined average monthly balances in their Basic Checking and linked Basic Savings accounts.

Currently, customers need to perform a combination of five qualified transactions a month to avoid the monthly fee on basic checking accounts.

Citigroup will not charge additional fees for debit card usage or online banking payments. And it maintained that it was increasing its "ThankYou" banking relationship rewards program. rewards program, even though it stopped offering reward points on debit card transactions.

Banks have been finding ways to recoup lost revenues following new regulations that limit overdraft fees and fees banks charge retailers for debit card transactions.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report) and Wells Fargo (WFC - Get Report) have scaled back rewards programs. Chase and Wells are also testing $3 monthly fees for debit cards in select areas.

--Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Shanthi Bharatwaj.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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