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Banks should provide CA EBT clients with surcharge free ATM access

Group letters sent to BofA, Chase and Wells Fargo

July 16, 2009

Mr. Liam E. McGee
Global Consumer and Small Business Banking
Bank of America
100 N. Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28255

Re: Surcharge Free ATM Access for EBT Clients

Dear Mr. McGee,

Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports ®, the California Reinvestment Coalition, the California Association of Food Banks, Asian Law Alliance, Legal Services for Northern California, Bay Area Legal Aid and California Hunger Action Coalition urge Bank of America to continue to provide California Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) recipients with surcharge free access to Bank of America ATMs.

Banks, including US Bank and Wachovia, have provided EBT clients with surcharge free access to ATMs since the early days of the EBT program. Bank of America provides surcharge free access to its ATMs to EBT clients in New York. This September, California’s Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Program will be administered by ACS State & Local Solutions (ACS). We urge Bank of America to provide surcharge free access to California EBT clients this fall when ACS takes over the EBT program in California.

EBT clients should be able to obtain funds readily and without additional cost. Bank of America should assist by continuing to provide California’s EBT clients access to cash without incurring additional costs, which is important to low-income Californians who need every penny most.

We also ask you to place this letter in your Community Reinvestment Act file. We hope to work with Bank of America in providing California EBT clients with surcharge free ATM access.


Michelle Jun
Staff Attorney
Consumers Union

Amy P. Lee
Staff Attorney
Bay Area Legal Aid

Alan Fisher
Executive Director
California Reinvestment Coalition

Jessica Bartholow
Director of Programs
California Association of Food Banks

Richard Konda
Executive Director
Asian Law Alliance

Jodie Berger
Regional Counsel
Legal Services of Northern California

Betsy Edwards
Statewide Co-Chair
California Hunger Action Coalition

For all three letters click on the link below (PDF format):