Bank of America Begins Walkback on $5 Debit Card Fee

(photo: Money Blog Newz)

Friday I wrote about how other big banks took the cue from Bank of America’s disastrous rollout of their $5 a month debit card fee, and canceled their plans to do the same. Now BofA is furiously backtracking on their fee, offering a number of ways for their customers to get out of it.

Bank of America Corp, after receiving heavy public criticism for a planned $5-per-month debit card fee, is likely to give customers more ways to avoid the fee, a person familiar with the bank’s plans said Friday.

The second-biggest U.S. bank is reworking its plans as rivals Wells Fargo & Co and JPMorgan Chase & Co have decided not to charge monthly fees, ending test programs in certain states.

Bank of America is likely to allow many customers to sidestep the fee by taking measures such as maintaining minimum balances, having paychecks direct deposited, or using Bank of America credit cards, the person said.

I agree with Zandar on this one. “Unless one of the ways B of A is planning to have customers avoid the fee is ‘are you a customer?’ then the damage is already done.” Like Netflix before them, BofA screwed with their ordinary customers, not the ones meticulously tracking how they’re illegally foreclosing on people or how they get free money shoveled at them by the Federal Reserve. They alienated everyone who has one of their debit cards. And they did it in a time when there was already a backlash against greedy banks from the Occupy Wall Street protests. Those protests have already opened up an opportunity for bank accountability that many groups are capitalizing on: [cont’d.]

On Saturday, October 29th Occupy Wall Street, in solidarity with Occupy the Hood, will take action against the homelessness forced upon innocent Americans through criminal foreclosure practices. At 10:00am we will gather at Liberty Square and march to the J train, which we will take to Jamaica, Queens, the foreclosure capital of New York. Metro fare will be provided for those who need it. On the subway we will hold democratic forums on the intolerable hardships Americans have been suffering because of bank foreclosures.

“There are five thousand homes in Queens that are being foreclosed upon. This is a pandemic. Jamaica is ground zero for foreclosures in New York,” said Patrick Bruner, a volunteer with Occupy Wall Street.

Good time to slap a $5 a month charge on all of your customers for the privilege of using their own money!

Bank of America single-handedly revived the Move Your Money movement. I predict that Bank Transfer Day on November 5 will be a huge success next week. Heck, when you have Tom Friedman – Tom Friedman! – spitting fire about the banks, you know that the zeitgeist has shifted.

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