Some Big Banks Back Down From Debit-Card Fee

Bank of America triggered outrage among customers last month when it announced plans to impose a $5 monthly fee next year for using a debit card. Even President Barack Obama weighed in, saying banks shouldn't take advantage of their customers.

But other big banks are not following in the steps of the nation's No. 2 bank. And now Bank of America itself seems to be wavering in its resolve.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that JPMorgan Chase & Co., which recently surpassed BofA to become the nation's biggest bank by assets, has decided it will not charge a fee to customers who use their debit cards to make purchases. The decision was made after eight months of testing, according to the story, which cited "a person familiar with the bank's plans."

Wells Fargo also announced late Friday it is canceling its planned five-state pilot of a monthly $3 fee for users of its debit cards as a response to customer feedback.

Several other banks, including Citigroup and Bancorp, also have decided against charging the fee.

Reuters reported late Friday that Bank of America is "is likely to allow many customers to avoid the fee by taking measures such as maintaining minimum balances, having paychecks direct deposited or using Bank of America credit cards."

Under earlier plans, customers might have needed balances totaling $20,000 across all their Bank of America accounts to avoid the fee, Reuters said. The Reuters story also was attributed to an unidentified "person familiar with the bank's plans."

Bank of America and others have said new debit-card fees are needed to recoup income because of a law that went into effect Oct. 1, cutting in half the amount banks can charge merchants for debit-card transactions. Merchants have long been vocal about being charged too much to accept debit cards.

SunTrust and Regions Financial have been among the banks saying they will charge a fee.

None of the banks backing down from imposing the fee say it's because of the brouhaha over the announcement by Bank of America.

"Unlike many of our competitors, we will not charge fees that discourage use or make it unreasonably expensive to take advantage of the tools and services that consumers say are important for managing their finances," Citi said in a statement last month. "The bottom line is that customers don't want to pay to use their debit card."

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  • by Lavon Location: Goldsboro on Oct 30, 2011 at 11:43 AM
    According to Wolfgang these fees are caused by Obama? LOL!! That guy just continues to stick his foot in his mouth
  • by Lester Location: NC on Oct 29, 2011 at 11:20 PM
    The Wall St. protesters. Did they ever clean up their mess in your cities? Or did the city tax payers have to fork the bill pay to clean up their garbage?
    • reply
      by 99%er on Oct 30, 2011 at 04:07 AM in reply to Lester
      Don't worry, we will "clean up" in 2012! Bet that!
      • reply
        by 53%'er on Oct 30, 2011 at 01:54 PM in reply to 99%er
        The only thing you guys are gonna clean up in 2012 are tears...
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Oct 30, 2011 at 04:51 PM in reply to 53%'er
          Tears from John Boehner, ha ha ha.
  • by Otis Location: Washington on Oct 29, 2011 at 07:56 PM
    Some bank stocks are coming back Share Volume of Bank of America was 273,167,237 today not a bad day
  • by Raymond Location: Chocowinity on Oct 29, 2011 at 07:17 PM
    Banks have to make a profit , for even just to pay their employees. If they fail again Obama will bail them out again! Like he did last time.
    • reply
      by Barlow on Oct 30, 2011 at 12:51 AM in reply to Raymond
      Again, George Bush came up with TARP which bailed out the banks that he helped rob the middle class. Obama came up with stimulus dollars to put people back to work after Bush nearly destroyed the US financial system. Is your memory really that short or are you just incapable of understanding?
      • reply
        by REALLY Barlow? on Oct 30, 2011 at 11:35 AM in reply to Barlow
        What jobs has your Messiah come up with?
        • reply
          by uh on Oct 30, 2011 at 06:30 PM in reply to REALLY Barlow?
          Obama is no messiah, but he did beat the 4 million jobs that Bush created with his immense tax cuts for the rich- which are still in place. How many years should those tax cuts be in place before we can see the job creation that republicans promised in 2003?
      • reply
        by Carl Kolchack on Oct 30, 2011 at 01:54 PM in reply to Barlow
        It's 2011, time to quit blaming Bush for everything and let your guy accept responsibility for HIS economy.
        • reply
          by W hat ? on Oct 30, 2011 at 04:51 PM in reply to Carl Kolchack
          So, what took Bush 8 years to destroy, you want it recovered in less than 3 years? You must be smarter than one of those Million Dollar Economist on Wall Street. Where did you get your credentials? With your superior economical intellect, why are you wasting your brains on this post?
  • by Bank of America customer Location: eastern NC on Oct 29, 2011 at 12:57 PM
    Bank of America did not decide on these measures of waiving the fee recently. They said from the start that it would not be for all of the accounts and when I went in to the local branch and talked with them the fee was applying to the accounts that are free like their e-checking accounts. I am in the process of switching my bank accounts now and from what I understand many more customers have already done so and is still doing so.
  • by Carl Kolchack Location: Pitt County on Oct 29, 2011 at 11:29 AM
    The Occupiers are just a bunch of smelly hippies as far as I'm concerned. With that said I still have no clue why anyone would continue to bank with Bank of America. Luckily I belong to a Credit Union, but if I did not I would find a local bank to deal with.
    • reply
      by Barlow on Oct 30, 2011 at 12:53 AM in reply to Carl Kolchack
      You think they are a bunch of smelly hippies because that is what Fox told you to think. Turn the channel every now and then and you might learn something
      • reply
        by Carl Kolchack on Oct 30, 2011 at 01:52 PM in reply to Barlow
        Unlike some folks I watch several different news sources, including Fox News. By far Fox has the most balanced coverage on issues, but they do not shape my opinions. I was raised as a democrat in union country, but once I was old enough to think for myself and realized it was the liberal democrats who were opposed to everything I supported and likewise supported everything I was opposed to I changed my registration to republican. While the republicans are far from perfect they are more in line with my way of thinking than are the democrats, and I came to this conclusion before Fox News was even a gleam in Rupert Murdoch's eye. So go vomit out your talking points on someone else.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 29, 2011 at 10:29 AM
    Hey, what do you folks expect. This is America. The land of the greedy and corrupted. Customers will be pushed as far as can be until the customers stands up and says "NO". Talking about fees, I once did business with Walkoveru and when I went in to sign my check and deposit the whole check into my account I was being charged what was called a "no direct deposit" fee. Well that went on 2 more times and then I had had enough and closed out and when to a credit union. Best banking move I ever made. They may not that $3 or $5 fee this time around but they eventually get it with another "legalized robbery" way. Consumers can stand up to greed and make a difference.
    • reply
      by Terry on Oct 29, 2011 at 08:26 PM in reply to
      To -Anonymous on Oct 29, 2011 at 01:29 PM. Buy a Bank Stock maybe make some money - Millions of people around the world do it everyday. Buy & sell bank stocks. Most banks still pay a Dividend to their shareholders
    • reply
      by Sam on Oct 29, 2011 at 09:30 PM in reply to
      To - Anonymous on Oct 29, 2011 at 01:29 PM. Next protest the beer , cigarette , gas , property and what ever else the government makes you pay in Federal & State taxes. In the real world a $5.00 bank fee is nothing
  • by Clifton Location: Washington on Oct 29, 2011 at 08:28 AM
    If the Occupy Wall Street gang and every other person in America would do exactly as the customers of BoA have done, EVERYONE would start seeing a BIG difference in the way corporate america treats us. Start bucking the system at the very root of THEIR system. Cut back on how much money you keep IN the bank. Cut back on your electricity useage. Don't go buy that new car or truck you wanted or think you deserve. Cut back on spending until corporate america understands the fact that they NEED us...not we need them. They sure can't lock you up for cutting back and saving money.....AND we will get the message across to corporate america.
  • by 250 Location: Jax on Oct 29, 2011 at 07:23 AM
    Y'all are spot on here gang. I got my eyes opened when we went to Johnson and Wales U in Charlotte to tour their culinary facilities with my son. On the tour as we went into an open air courtyard of such; our guide made it a point to show us the "CORPRATE OFFICE" of BOA. Subtley they explained that BOA handles much of the students bank needs. Hmmmmm Right? I haven't had to cram my neck to look up that far since leaving Honolulu, HI. My only thought was "everyone" must have a corner office or the best view.
  • by Hugh Location: NC on Oct 29, 2011 at 07:11 AM
    Support your local Credit Union! There Board of Directors don't get paid, they volunteer. LGFCU member since 1985, no complaints.
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