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Bank of America planning new fee attached to basic checking accounts

Consumer Reports News: March 01, 2012 03:08 PM

Bank of America is said to be working on requirements that customers with basic checking accounts pay a monthly fee unless they bank online, buy more products or maintain a certain balance, The Wall Street Journal reports today.

Several other big banks, including J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo also plan to try and raise revenue through fees or by getting customers to do more business with the bank, the Journal reports.

According to our own analysis, banks will continue to experiment with fee increases as they attempt to make up billions in lost revenue due to new regulations and the bad economy.

Just last fall, Bank of America scrapped plans for a $5 debit-card fee after customer revolt and public criticism. Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, called on Bank of America to nix plans for this latest fee as well. Norma Garcia, manager of Consumers Union’s financial services team, said Bank of America is up to its old tricks:

Consumers have made it loud and clear that they are fed up with new bank fees. Bank of America should drop this latest fee scheme or risk losing even more customers who are tired of being nickeled and dimed at every turn.

Garcia says that if you're a Bank of America customer and you're upset about this latest fee you should consider switching to another bank. "There are plenty of banks and credit unions that will be eager to attract new customers unhappy with Bank of America’s latest fee," she said. If you decide to move your money, check to see whether your new bank offers a “switch kit” to help streamline the process, and download our step-by-step guide Move-Your-Money.pdf. And for tips on avoiding bank fees see Fight Back Against Your Bank, plus Watch for new bank fees.

News of Bank of America's latest fee comes the same day that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it will start taking consumer complaints about checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, and other related services. You can file a complaint with the financial watchdog at www.cfpb.gov.

Previously:
Fees and bad service mean even more people switching banks
You can expect more bank fees in 2012

Consumers Union Calls on Bank of America to Drop Its Latest Fee Scheme [Consumers Union]
Big Bank Weighs Fee Revamp [Wall Street Journal]

Maggie Shader

   

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