October 31, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – With consumer outrage mounting against new debit card fees, SunTrust announced on Monday that it will stop charging its customers a $5 monthly fee to make debit card purchases. SunTrust’s announcement follows the news late last week that Wells Fargo and Chase are backing off debit card fees.
“It’s time for Bank of America to join other major banks and drop its plan to charge a monthly debit card fee,” said Norma Garcia, manager of Consumers Union’s financial services program. “For many consumers, the Bank of America debit card fee was the last straw. They’re fed up with banks that got billion dollar bail-outs that are now sticking customers with new fees. Many are moving their money to credit unions and banks that don’t charge debit card fees. We think that will add a healthy dose of competition to the banking business that will benefit consumers in the long run.”
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.
Consumers Union, the nonprofit advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, has developed a set of tips to help guide consumers interested in switching their accounts to a new financial institution. The tips along with a “How-To Change Banks” video is available at www.DefendYourDollars.org.
Contact: Michael McCauley, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-431-6747, ext 126 or 415-902-9537 (office)