Banks waive fees in states hit by Irene

NEW YORK (AP) ? Several banks are waiving a variety of fees for customers hard hit by Hurricane Irene.

Chase says it will waive fees for customers in 13 states through Sunday. The waived fees include overdraft and out-of-network ATM fees on checking accounts and late fees for credit cards and mortgages.

The waivers apply to customers in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.

Wells Fargo says it will waive out-of-network ATM fees, as well as early withdrawal fees on certificates of deposits. Wells Fargo’s waivers last through Friday and apply only to customers in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

As a general practice, other banks ? including Bank of America, Capital One, Citi and PNC Bank ? say they waive fees on a case-by-case basis whenever customers are facing hardships as a result of natural disasters. They say customers should contact their local branches to explore possible account adjustments, such as lowered credit card interest rates.

Hurricane Irene left many areas up and down the East Coast besieged by floodwaters. On Tuesday, more than 2.5 million people from North Carolina to Maine were still without electricity and airlines said it would be days before thousands of stranded passengers find their way home.

Early estimates put Irene’s damage at $7 billion to $10 billion. By comparison, Hurricane Katrina caused more than $100 billion in damage.