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Friday, September 30, 2011

Bank Of America Announces Debit Card Fees

Two customers use an ATM at a Bank of America bank in California. (AP)

Two customers use an ATM at a Bank of America bank in California. (AP)

Bank of America announced Thursday that starting next year, it will begin charging a $5 monthly fee for customers who use their debit cards. And customers are already taking out their frustration.

On Twitter, Peter Skeritt wrote “Welp. looks like I’ll be closing my Bank of America account before the year is out. Fees mean more revenue only if you have customers.” Bank of America spokeswoman Anne Pace defended BOA’s move, saying that “the economics of offering a debit card have changed.”

The announcement comes days before a provision of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul bill called the “Durbin Amendment” takes effect. That rule limits the fees that banks can charge merchants every time a customer uses a debit card for a purchase. And The New York Times reports that Javelin Strategy and Research estimates the new rule would reduce revenue for banks by about $6.6 billion a year.

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, for whom the rule was named, criticized the new fees, as the Hill reports:

“It seems that old habits die hard for Bank of America,” Durbin said in response to the new policy. “After years of raking in excess profits off an unfair and anti-competitive interchange system, Bank of America is trying to find new ways to pad their profits by sticking it to its customers.

Bank of America says that customers will be notified in writing 30 days in advance if a person’s account is affected.

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  • Teh

    The banksters continue to seek for fees from their customers.  Never greedy enough.
    Well folks, start pulling whatever money you have in the banks and begin dealing with cash, the old fashion way.
    These robbers will continue to find new ways to charge you money for using your money.
    They are addicts. Dump the banksters!

  • Geojon4609

    An alternative to changing banks is to use cash and checks.

  • Jameel

    I teach financial education and people are always asking me where to bank. I say stay away from the big banks.
    I know this sounds like an ad, but I swear I don’t work there, but Cambridge Savings Bank offers achecking acct with a $10 minimum, pays 2% interest, no fees, and even reimburses for foreign ATM charges. Must have direct deposit, eStatements and use your debit card.

  • Christopher

    I may leave BoA. I’ll be looking into other banks around my local area and comparing. If nothing is better, or only marginally better, I’ll compare my credit card fees against the additional $60 a year debit fees and flat out consider being rid of the debit deal altogether.  I’m in no love affair with BoA or big banks in general, I find them to be greedy, selfish, and mindful of investors rather than bankers.

    I like “Keep the Change”  & I like electronic transactions, or I’d just go cash & checks. I can track my spending habits with electronic services without manually entering data into excel.

  • Anonymous

    Dear BoA, 
    we’re out of here.  Will go back to using checks. 

  • Alfred

    A recent Federal Reserve and GAO(Government Accounting Office) survery has found that in the past 20 years 34 banks have been reduced to 4 main banking operations.  CitiGroup, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo
    Can anyone say–monopoly.
    This is the same problem with Big Oil and Big Media. It’s all about control.

    Remember what    Mayer Amschel Rothschild said  260 years ago

    “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes her laws.” 

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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