Friday, October 28, 2011
Thanks to a lethal mix of Occupy Wall Street fervor, livid consumers and Washington politicians running for reelection and most of the big U.S. banks have decided to steer clear of imposing debit card fees.
J.P. Morgan Chase has decided that it won’t charge customers who use their debit cards to make purchases, according to a person familiar with the bank’s plans. The New York bank’s Chase retail unit is one of the largest U.S. consumer banks, with 26.5 million checking accounts and 5,300 branches.
U.S. Bancorp, Citigroup, PNC Financial Services, and Key Bank join the list of banks that announced in recent days that they won’t impose monthly fees on debit cards.
This means Bank of America is going it alone with plans to nickle and dime bank customers with a $5 monthly service fee to use their debit card.
Community banks and credit unions are tapping into customer rage over these debit card fees by encouraging consumers to move to small community-based institutions and credit unions. Bethpage Federal Credit Union in New York, for example, said this week it signed up 1,500 customers—twice its normal rate, since Bank of America’s plans became public.
How long is Bank of America willing to stubbornly hold fast to its plans to implement a $5 monthly debit card fee and in the process, drive itself over the cliff into oblivion?