PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – When you’re the new business in town, you sometimes have to try something different to get new customers and that’s exactly what Huntington Bank is doing.

“With the economic times being more challenging and at the same time consumers being annoyed to a degree with what they would term nuisance fees in banking, we wanted to be proactive in addressing that,” Huntington Bank Regional President David Hammer said.

Huntington Bank calls it “Fair Play Banking.” While other banks are adding new fees to their services, Huntington is cutting back on theirs.

Hammer said that led to something called “24-hour Grace.”

It’s extra time to get cash into your account when you overdraw on checks or debit cards so you can avoid that hefty fee.

Doug Bell admits he’s had to pay those fees, but likes the idea of a grace period.

“They’re terrible, they’re terrible. They add up,” Bell said. “I think you could save yourself money and I think you could save your credit with the bank and your reputation.”

Huntington claims it is the only bank in the country with 24-hour grace. Local banks like PNC, Citizens, First Niagara and Dollar said they have other consumer-friendly policies, but admit they don’t have 24-hour grace.

“This is a permanent change here. There are no gimmicks here. This isn’t a lead-on. We want to be fair to our consumers. We want to be a differentiator,” Hammer said.

The real question is whether “Fair Play Banking” at Huntington Bank will lead all the other banks in town to adopt it and a 24-hour grace period.


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