After Outcry Over Bank of America Debit Card Fees, Other Big Banks Reconsider Following Suit

Remember when Bank of America announced that it would be the first of the big banks to charge customers $5 per month to use their debt cards? And remember the consumer freak-out that followed?

Turns out the banks noticed. The Wall Street Journal reports:

A month after Bank of America got pummeled by consumers and politicians for introducing plans for new debit-card fees, most other big U.S. banks are steering clear of imposing similar charges.

Following eight months of consumer testing, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has decided that it won't charge customers who use their debit cards to make purchases, according to a person familiar with the bank's plans. The New York bank's Chase retail unit is one of the largest U.S. consumer banks, with 26.5 million checking accounts and 5,300 branches.

J.P. Morgan joins U.S. Bancorp, Citigroup Inc., PNC Financial Services Group Inc., KeyCorp and other large banks that have said in recent days that they won't impose monthly fees on debit cards.


None of those banks said they made their decisions because of the outcry over Bank of America's fees.

Yes, these were totally unrelated decisions, I'm sure!

This move doesn't signal some new, virtuous way of operating for the corporate banks. But it does mean that if you scream loud enough -- and close enough accounts -- the banks will hear you.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at October 28, 2011, 7:10am

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