New regulations on financial institutions, such as overdraft reform, and a soft economy have forced some banks and credit unions to drop their free checking programs. Free checking was an innovative “loss leader” product for many successful institutions that are now rethinking their customer acquisition strategies.

In an April 22, 2011 interview with Jim Larranaga of Priority Integrated Marketing, Diane Merrifield suggests that free checking isn’t going away, but many financial institutions are now creating new relationship-building products that could be good for the industry and consumers too.

To hear what Diane has to say about the evolution of banking products, listen to the interview.