Wed, November 02, 2011
Citing negative feedback from customers, Bank of America has done a complete about-face from its plan to charge most customers a $5-a-month debit card usage fee starting next year.
From Bank of America’s news release: "We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize their concern with our proposed debit usage fee," said David Darnell, co-chief operating officer. “Our customers’ voices are most important to us. As a result, we are not currently charging the fee and will not be moving forward with any additional plans to do so.”
Observers speculate that BofA was also influenced by the fact that other banks that initially followed Bank of America’s lead have abandoned plans to initiate or test similar debit card fees. Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Sun Trust Banks announced last week that they were dropping plans to consider debit card usage fees.
For now, at least, score one for the little guys. But since banks still would like to replace the billions in revenues lost as a consequence of the Credit CARD Act of 2009, it won’t be surprising if they begin looking for less conspicuous ways to increase their fee income. Consumers will need to remain on the alert.