Department of Justice Reviewing Banks' Debit Card Fees
Rep. Peter Welch announced Tuesday that the Department of Justice has informed him that it "is reviewing statements and actions by big banks regarding consumer debit card fees" in response to his request for an anti-trust investigation.
“I am pleased that the Justice Department is taking this request seriously,” Congressman Welch said. “While big banks like Bank of America beat a hasty retreat on their debit card fee strategies, I have no doubt that they will continue their quest to dig deeper into the pockets of struggling consumers. As they consider their next move, they should be aware that there is a cop actively on the beat.”
In a letter to Congressman Welch, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich said, “The Department of Justice is reviewing the statements and actions by banks and their trade associations regarding possible increases in consumer fees for using debit cards. Please be assured that if it finds that individuals, banks, or other parties may have violated antitrust laws, the Department will take appropriate action.”
In other words, they're determining whether financial institutions acted in concert in imposing the fees on debit cards following the implementation of regulations limiting what they could charge merchants for swipe fees. It's not quite investigating the banksters for colluding the wreck of the global economy, but it's still a win.
But you know what's going to be even more effective in keeping the big banks from screwing you over with fees? Moving your money out of them.