Bank of America Cancels New $5 Debit Card Fee
After receiving a ton of negative press and angry consumer feedback, Bank of America has decided to drop plans next year to charge its customers $5 a month to use their BofA debit card.
It must have looked mighty embarrassing for Bank of America to announce last quarter’s $6.2 Billion profit, right after saying it needed to charge the new fee to recover planned losses from protective governmental regulations going into effect next year. CEO Brian Moynihan had previously defended the move, saying that BofA “has a right to make a profit.”
A mighty profit indeed.
David Darnell, Bank of America’s COO, issued a statement, saying “We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize their concern with our proposed debit usage fee.” I suspect it had much more to do with Chase and Wells Fargo banks dropping similar debit charge programs. Or perhaps it was President Obama joining widespread political posturing in saying BofA “can succeed, the old-fashioned way, by earning it.”
Maybe it was the steady drove of BofA customers either leaving or saying they would on social networks, or the fact that the largest credit union in the United States showed an uptick in new accounts of 20%, following Bank of America’s fee announcement a little over a month ago.
Whatever the cause for dropping the fee, Bank of America customers, such as myself, will get a (perhaps temporary) respite from new bank shopping after we pause to usher in 2012.