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Consumers Union calls on feds to investigate new Bank of America debit card fee

Consumer Reports News: October 05, 2011 10:08 AM

In the wake of Bank of America’s announcement of a new $5 monthly debit card fee, Consumers Union, the public policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, has called on Congress and federal regulators to investigate the new fee.

In letters to the House and Senate banking committees and financial regulators, the organization urged them to investigate whether the new fee is justified. The letter notes that the fee, which could end up costing Bank of America customers an extra $60 per year, comes at a time when American families are hard pressed to pay additional charges.

The letter also pointed out that this type of fee is not unique to Bank of America, as more banks like Wells Fargo and Chase also begin to test new debit card fees.

Bank of America’s decision to charge a monthly fee for debit card transactions is ill-timed and unwise. The bank continues to struggle financially. Yet it now appears ready to drive away customers with the promise of more excessive fees,” said Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union. “Consumers cannot afford and should not be required to pay a costly fee that appears to be arbitrary and designed to generate income for the bank rather than covering the costs of providing debit card services.

Previously: 5 tips for avoiding bank fees as Bank of America unveils $5 monthly debit card fee

Bank of America Debit Fees: Dear Senators Johnson and Shelby (pdf) [Consumers Union, the public policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports]

Maggie Shader

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