Bank of New York Mellon Corp. is charging customers for the privilege of allowing them to deposit large sums of their money at the Bank. Charging people to deposit money so that you can charge somebody else to borrow that money from you, and still having people rushing to give you their funds anyway is a sweet deal if you can pull it off.
Panic over sovereign debt security abroad, and low interest rates of Treasuries were cited in the decision by the Bank. Also, the stock market is having one of its periodic freak outs, and it isn't even autumn yet.
Inflation adjusted incomes fell 15.2% in 2009 to a twelve year low.
The federal funds rate will be zero percent until mid-2013 or so, the European Union says the sovereign debt situation is worst that the public realizes, and China and Russia which finance lots of the U.S. national debt have expressed great dissatisfaction with the near brush with default that the U.S. experienced over the last week.
FWIW, I know financial planners who can do better than that with your personal or institutional funds.