Friday, October 28, 2011
Consumers Union Calls On Bank of America to Drop its Plan
to Charge a $5 Monthly Fee for Debit Card Purchases
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JP Morgan Chase will not charge its customers a $3 monthly debit card fee after testing the charge in Wisconsin and Georgia, according to numerous media reports today. The bank is abandoning its plans following widespread protest from consumers over debit card fee proposals.
Consumers Union, the nonprofit advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, today commended Chase for its decision and reiterated its call on Bank of America to end its plan to charge a $5 debit card fee beginning in 2012.
“Consumers Union has heard from thousands of consumers across the country who are outraged that Bank of America is instituting the $5 monthly debit card fee,” said Norma Garcia, manager of Consumers Union’s financial services program. “Its time for Bank of America to listen to its customers who are saying loud and clear: drop the fee or we’ll drop you. All banks that are considering debit card fees should ditch those plans.”
SunTrust has also started rolling out a similar debit card fee and Wells Fargo has been testing one in select markets. Earlier this month, Consumers Union called on Chase, Bank of America and these other banks to abandon plans to charge customers a fee for debit card purchases.
“It’s unfair for banks to stick consumers with a monthly fee just to use their own money,” said Garcia. “The banks that charge debit card fees risk losing customers who are fed up with financial institutions that got bailed out that are now turning around and hiking fees.”
Consumers Union has published a set of tips for consumers who want to switch banks.
Saturday, November 5, has been dubbed Bank Transfer Day by grassroots activists upset with rising bank fees, including the new $5 debit card fee that Bank of America will start charging its customers in 2012. Consumers are being encouraged by Bank Transfer Day organizers to switch their accounts to credit unions or community banks on that day.
Michael McCauley – 415-902-9537 (cell) or 415-431-6747 (office)
David Butler & Kara Kelber, 202-462-6262