What Is Fee Income? Meaning, Importance, 5 Facts

Fee income has mushroomed since the 1980s bank deregulation permitted financial institutions to diversify into investment and insurance services. The article below will tell you all the information about fee income in the most specific way.

What Is Fee Income?

Banks can only make money in two ways: through interest on loans and service fees. The fees that come from a client’s account are considered fee income.

What Is Fee Income?

Fee income could come from charges like nonsufficient funds fees, overdraft fees, late fees, overlimit fees, wire transfer fees, monthly service fees, and account research fees. Fees are a big way for financial institutions like credit unions, banks, and card issuers to make money.

Understanding Fee Income

Interest from mortgages, business loans, credit cards, and personal loans are all examples of loan types that can bring in money for a bank or other financial institution. Interest on credit card debt is another source of money that can be used to make money.

Fees, which are often called “non-interest revenue,” make up a big part of a bank’s total income. In fact, since the 1980s, income from fees has gone up a lot.

Because the banking sector was deregulated in the mid-1980s, banks were able to add non-traditional fee-based services to their product lines. About a quarter of commercial banks’ operating income already came from sources other than interest.

What Is Fee Income?

As more and more American banks expanded into areas like investment banking, merchant banking, insurance sales, and brokerage services, that percentage skyrocketed.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) Act of 1999 set up a financial holding company (FHC) structure that lets banking and nonbanking businesses share ownership. This caused noninterest fee income to rise by a large amount.

The GLB Act was the reason why the famous Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 was thrown out. That law had made it illegal to combine commercial banking with other financial services like investment banking.

At the same time, commercial banks started to make money off of the fees they made from their more traditional lines of business, like checking and savings accounts.

Roles Of Fee Income

Businesses can get the money they need to cover the costs of providing a service to their customers by charging a fee. They can even make a little money on each transaction thanks to this source of income.

As an example, many banks make money from their customers by charging for services like covering overdrawn checks, handling wire transfers, and offering extra services like giving out money orders and teller checks.

When you go to a bank or credit union, you might want to know if you will be charged for certain services.

What Is Fee Income?

Banks and credit unions aren’t the only ones who charge extra fees to make more money. Other businesses do the same thing.

If you have a high credit risk, your credit card company may charge you a monthly maintenance fee as well as an annual maintenance fee just to keep your account open.

Most credit card companies will charge a late fee if you pay your bill after the due date. There may also be extra costs, like a fee for making and sending out more than one copy of an account statement.

Controversy In Regard To Fee Income

Many people disagree about whether or not it’s okay to make money by charging fees. This way of thinking says that many of the costs should be rolled into a single monthly payment so that clients can always use the services.

On the other hand, some people think that some services should be part of the basic set of services a client gets, but it’s fine to charge extra for services that aren’t part of the normal account.

What Is Fee Income?

Companies can charge fees that are reasonable and comparable to those of other businesses because many countries have laws that limit the types and amounts of fees that certain organizations can charge.

Before deciding whether or not to do business with a certain company, customers usually look closely at how the prices for the services are set up.

A Bonanza of Fees

Some estimates say that commercial banks in the United States get about half of their operating income from fees other than interest.

No matter what the level of mortgage interest rates is, banks have many fee streams that will continue to bring in money.

In 2019, the average fee for a check that didn’t have enough money to cover it was $30. The largest banks in the United States made about $11 billion from overdraft fees in 2019.

On average, though, it cost $4.72 to take money out of an ATM that wasn’t part of a bank’s network.

What Is Fee Income?

There may be monthly maintenance fees and minimum balance fees for checking and savings accounts. Foreign transaction fees, cashier’s check fees, and printed statement fees are all examples of specialized services that come with extra costs.


Businesses can make money by charging customers for the services they provide. Fees are usually based on how much a customer uses a certain part of the service or product.

This could be a fixed monthly rate or a cost per unit of consumption. Most of the time, these fees are charged by financial institutions like banks, credit unions, and mortgage lenders.

5/5 - (1 vote)
Pat Moriarty
Follow me

Leave a Comment