[9:28 AM EST] A prior blog post announced plans by several banks to add new fees for consumers who use debit cards. In a press release on Friday, October 28, Wells Fargo bank announced that it was ending its five-state test program with a $3.00 per month debit card fee. According to a bank spokesperson:
"As we adjust to changes in our business, we will continue to stay attuned to what our customers want..."
In a press release yesterday, Sun Trust Banks announced the termination of its Check Card fees for its Everyday Checking customers, effective November 2, 2011. And, customers who had already been charged the monthly debit card fee will receive a refund. Customers will not need to take any action to receive the refund. According to a Sun Trust Banks spokesperson:
"We believe banking is a relationship business and recognize the importance of responding to client preferences... 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."
On Friday, the Los Angeles Times newspaper reported:
"... JPMorgan Chase said that after its own eight-month testing of $3 monthly debit card fees it had decided against imposing them on its customers. Citibank, US Bank and Union Bank are among other major institutions that have now taken the no-debit-fee pledge."
Yes. Listening to your customers is always wise. Doing so sooner could have saved these banks a lot of time, effort, money, and embarrassment.
What about Bank of America? I checked the bank's online Newsroom for a press release or an announcement, but didn't see any. The same Los Angeles Times article also reported:
"Earlier Friday, Bank of America backpedaled, saying it would make it easier for its customers to avoid the fee by waiving the charge if they also used BofA credit cards, maintained minimum account balances or made certain direct deposits. Details of the revised plan had not been finalized, a person familiar with the changes said."
What? That doesn't sound any different than what a Bank of America spokesperson told me previously. It seems the bank's position really hasn't changed, despite plenty of consumer feedback otherwise. This is unsatisfactory. To learn about how to find a bank to move your money to, read this article.
If you are unsure about whether to keep your money at Bank of America, I strongly suggest that you read this Truth-out article.
[November 1, 2011 1:00 PM EST Update: The Boston Globe newspaper reported that bank of America has stopped its plans to charge checking account customers a monthly $5.00 debit card fee.]