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Bank Fees, Higher Account Minimums Get Some Hackles Up

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The American Revolution was forged in the fields, farms and taverns of Boston and Philadelphia.

Some 237 years later, citizens of Boston and Philly voicing their discontent again -- this time about banking fees, rather than about taxation without representation.

A study from TD Bank shows that while most Bostonians and Philadelphians are happy with their "banking experience," 51% of Beantown residents and 45% of Philly residents say they would switch banks over high fees -- compared with 36% of bank consumers nationwide.

Regionally, New Yorkers are not a happy lot, either.

According to TD Bank, Big Apple residents give low marks to their day-to-day checking account experience -- for which they have the highest average minimum balance to avoid fees ($1,260).

It's not just in the Northeast, although residents there really seem to dislike bank fees, based on the TD Bank study. Financial consumers across the country are weighing in on fees, with 38% calling non-bank ATM fees the "most frustrating" banking fees, followed by overdraft fees at 27%.

Only 10% of U.S. banking consumers expect to pay for their checking accounts, but the average minimum account balance needed to avoid a monthly fee is up to $950 in 2013.

A Bankrate survey last year put the average minimum balance to avoid a monthly checking account fee at $585, up from $249 in 2011, for a 135% increase -- and from last year to this year's average is a jump of another 62%.

Outside of the fee issue, banks are faring better with customers.

According to TD Bank, 74% of consumers rank bank hours as excellent or very good, while about 70% approve of their banks' branch and ATM locations. And 80% of Americans say their banks do a good job in responding to their questions and problems.

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