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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Another Reason to Hate Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Other Big Banks

Bank of America recently announced that starting in 2012, it is going to charge its debit card customers a $5 monthly fee, for using a BOA debit card. This is just another slick and slimy tactic of BOA to recoup all of the profits lost during the housing market bust and in the wake of the latest regulations in the banking industry. The amendments to the Frank-Dodd law that was passed, limits the amount of overdraft fees charged, and new regulations in credit card fees have come into play. All of these changes, no doubt, have affected Bank of America’s ability to siphon profits from companies and individual consumers.


Bank of America is blaming the Durbin amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection law for the new debit card fee. The law was implemented in order to place a cap on the amount of money that the banks can charge merchants for debit card transactions. The merchants’ fee was reduced from $.44 to $.24 per swipe. So according to Bank of America, since the government is limiting the amount that can be charged to merchants, the costs must be passed on the consumers. With 57 million customers, Bank of America stands to generate billions of dollars in revenue from the new fee, in spite of the Durbin Amendment. The Federal Reserve says that it costs banks pennies to process each debit card transaction, so although their earning potential is reduced by the Frank-Dodd law, there is still a large cushion for profit.

Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase already announced that they will test a $3 monthly debit card fee. Eventually, the debit card fee will become the norm. Until it becomes a norm throughout the banking industry, people should go ahead and close their accounts with these large banks and open up accounts with smaller community banks and credit unions, or banks that charge little or no fees like, Ally Bank. Granted, the large banks do provide a certain amount of convenience with 24 hour customer service, online BillPay larger ATM networks and branches all over the place,etc.  However, these new fees on top of the fees the customers are already paying are not reasonable. 

The taxpayers bailed the “too large to fail” banks out, and how do they repay us? The large banks merge with and buyout other banks like Countrywide, and after the banks got their billions in TARP and TALF money, the banks are still reluctant to loan money to the small businesses that desperately need the funds. The “too large to fail” banks foreclose on homeowners whom have financial difficulties, rather than trying to work out a loan modification. The bank would rather let a foreclosed home sit vacant for months and have a family end up homeless, than to make mortgage payments more affordable. It just proves that the large banks don’t give a damn about their customers, shareholders, or corporate ethics. I am so excited to see that “Occupy Wall Street” is demonstrating against the huge multinational corporations and banks, and their greedy, corporate goons.


Related posts:

Bank of America Settles a $410 Million Class Action Lawsuit for Overdraft Fees


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