Friday, September 30, 2011

The Big Bank Temper Tantrum: A $5 Debit Charge per Month for Customers. That’ll fix ‘em.

Arrogance on top of giant CEO bonuses, bankers couldn’t wait to get back at retailers and consumers.

Charging Americans the fee is a jobs killer, especially during these tough economic times. Where's the outrage?

It’s time to dump the banks, NOW, for credit unions!
NYTimesBank of America, the nation’s biggest bank, said that it planned to start charging customers a $5 monthly fee when they used their debit cards for purchases. It was just one of several new charges expected to hit consumers as new regulations crimp banks’ profits. Wells Fargo and Chase are testing $3 monthly debit card fees. Regions Financial in Birmingham, Ala., plans to start charging a $4 fee next month, while SunTrust, another regional powerhouse, is charging a $5 fee.

The round of new charges stems from a rule, which takes effect on Saturday, that limits the fees that banks can levy on merchants every time a consumer uses a debit card to make a purchase. Until now, the fees have been 44 cents a transaction, on average. The Federal Reserve in June agreed to cut the fees to a maximum of about 24 cents. The new limit is expected to cost the banks about $6.6 billion in revenue a year, beginning in 2012 … That comes on top of another loss, of $5.6 billion, from new rules restricting overdraft fees, which went into effect in July 2010.

The losses represent consumer abuse and profiteering, not actual labor costs incurred by banks. Credit unions don't charge a fee. At least not yet. 

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