Watch out for rising bank fees. The troubled economy has "wreaked havoc on the banking industry, putting them in desperate need of capital," warns Peter Weiland, an internal consultant at Weiland Financial Group in Chicago. Many banks will turn to cash management fee increases to buoy sinking profits, he predicts. They'll raise fees now "because they need to and because they can," Weiland says. Cash management relationships are "sticky," and concern over access to scarce credit makes it even safer for banks to raise fees without fear of losing many customers, he argues.

In this environment, "account analysis statement neglect is no longer acceptable," Weiland insists. "Those who pay little attention to their statements will suffer bigger bank bills, broken budgets, failed audits and strained bank relationships." (Weiland's company sells cash management fee analysis software.)

Volume declines resulting from reduced economic activity may make it easier for banks to increase fees because they won't necessarily result in a higher overall cost of services, Weiland says. "When treasurers mind only the bottom line, these individual price changes are easily and often overlooked."

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