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 BofA Retreats on Debit Fee, Citing Uproar

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: BofA Retreats on Debit Fee, Citing Uproar    Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:44 pm

Bank of America Corp. has dropped its plan to charge customers $5 a month for making purchases with their debit cards, responding to a customer backlash after the fee was announced in September.
The move is the highest-profile retreat on the issue, following decisions last week by Wells Fargo & Co. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. to drop customer tests of the new fees. SunTrust Banks Inc. and Regions Financial Corp. also said Monday that they will stop charcheap nhl jerseysging customers for debit-card transactions.
Bank of America decided against the fees because of negative customer feedback on the plan and the moves by rivals, which left the Charlotte, N.C., lender as the only big bank planning to levy the fee on some customers next year.

The about-face represents a concession to customer sensitivities over fees. Banks have been adding charges in an attempt to make up for billions of dollars in revenue that is expected to vanish as a result of new restrictions on credit cards, debit cards and overdraft policies. A provision in last year's Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law halved the amount that banks can charge merchants for accepting debit cards.

Banks, also hit hard by a soft economy, have turned to customers to make up those fees. They have been adding fees on services, charging, for instance, for many checking accounts that used to be free.

But none of those moves appears to have generated the intense response of the debit-card charge. "Consumers have clearly said this is a no-go," said Patricia Hewitt, who specializes in debit cards at Mercator Advisory Group Inc. in Maynard, Mass.

The fees have drawn criticism from President Obama and from Sen. Richard Durbin (D., Ill.), who wrote the provision that reduced merchant debit-card fees. Sen. Durbin sent a letter to Wells Fargo Chief Executive John Stumpf last month complaining about the nfl jerseys wholesalebank's new charges. Consumer advocates have also attacked the fees.

Some banks have been quietly rolling out the fees for months: SunTrust had been charging some customers $5 a month on debit-card purchases since June.

However, the outrage over the debit-card purchase charges exploded in late September, when Bank of America began telling employees it intended to start collecting monthly fees of $5 next year.

The fees began to lose momentum over the past two weeks, when executives of big banks like Citigroup Inc. and PNC Financial Services Group Inc. said they had no plans to impose the fees.

Last week, a person familiar with J.P. Morgan Chase told The Wall Street Journal that its Chase retail unit had decided to drop its test of debit-card fees. The bank had been testing $3 monthly fees for eight months in parts of Georgia and Wisconsin. Wells Fargo followed suit on Friday, announcing it was canceling its test of $3 monthly debit-card fees that had started in October.

SunTrust is dropping its $5 monthly debt-card charge on Wednesday and will refund the fee to customers who have incurred it. The Atlanta lender didn't disclose how much money it has collected from the fee.

"We've listened to our clients' feedback and will provide the convenience and security of check cards at no additional charge as part of all of our checking accounts," said Brad Dinsmore, a consumer-banking executive at SunTrust.

Regions said it is eliminating the fee as of Nov. 1 and Cheap NFL Jerseyswill also refund those fees that already have been charged. "We have heard from our customers and are responding to their feedback by eliminating the monthly fee," said John Owen, head of consumer services for the bank.

The Birmingham, Ala., lender didn't disclose how much money it has collected from the fee.

While neither bank boasts a nationwide footprint, SunTrust and Regions rank among the 20 largest banks in the country. SunTrust has more than $170 billion in assets and more than 1,600 branches across the Southeast. Regions has $130 billion in assets, with 1,800 branches in the South, the Midwest and Texas.http://elf-cass.forumotion.com/t6-topic
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