You may have thought Goldman Sachs was brazen in encouraging customers to invest in mortgage-related securities that it was shorting.
But some banks appear to have one-upped that move.
Royal Bank of Scotland, JPMorgan Chase and Barclays are selling some structured notes — reverse convertible notes to be exact — with fees that top the securities’ highest possible yield, Bloomberg reports.
“It seems inconceivable that the commission could be more than the potential return to clients,” Durraj Tase, a financial adviser at First Liberties Financial, told Bloomberg.
And here’s a bit of an understatement.
“If you are paying more fees than your potential return, as an adviser, I would not be able to suggest that note,” he said.
One would hope not.
Not surprisingly, officials from the three banks declined Bloomberg’s offer to comment. The likely explanation for their questionable practice is that the fees are difficult to decipher.
Most of you don’t have to worry about reverse convertible notes. But banks may soon hit you closer to home.
With the government outlawing some of banks’ most abusive activity, such as excessive overdraft fees, they’re trying to figure out ways to make up for the lost revenue.
One possibility: maintenance fees on checking accounts. Watch the correspondence you get from your bank closely, because the information about new fees is likely to come in an innocuous looking letter.
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