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Obama ridicules Bank of America $5 month-to-month debit card costs

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KennethR's picture
Last seen: 6 years 14 weeks ago
Joined: 07/30/2011

Bank of America's decision to charge consumers $5 per month to use a debit card has started a firestorm of protest that has reached the executive office of United States government. As reported by ABC News, President Obama is among the more expressive crit-ics. Bank of America and the rest of the U.S. banking market didn't miss a beat in lashing back at Obama. Article source: Obama criticizes Bank of America $5 monthly debit card fees

Government protecting rights for customers, not banks

Obama spoke in no uncertain terms concerning Bank of America's brand new debit card fees. An ABC News interview was done where he spoke with Stephanopoulos. He said that the federal government is currently working to make sure these devices cannot be used against consumers.

“This is exactly why we need this Consumer Finance Protection Bureau,” said the president. “We need somebody whose sole job is to prevent this kind of stuff from happening. ... You don't have some inherent right to get a certain amount of profit. You have to treat (custom-ers) fairly and transparently.”

Bank of America got even more criticism on the U.S. U.S. Senate Floor. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) explained his feelings too.

“What I have said in the media and I'll say here is, Bank of America customers, vote with your feet. Get the heck out of that bank,” said Durbin. “Find yourself a bank or credit union that won't gouge you for $5 a month and still will give you a debit card that you can use every single day. What Bank of America has done is an outrage.”

Following the crowd

When it comes to higher debit card charges, Bank of America is simply doing what everybody else is doing, as reported by Bank of America spokesman Lawrence Di Rita. Much of the blame rests on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations on debit card interchange fees. The $5 monthly debit card charges are essential and necessary for banks such as Bank of America to continue giv-ing consumers “secure and efficient methods of payment” since the bank lost “bil-lions of dollars” in that move which will “provide no benefit to consumers,” Di Rita stated.

Listening to from other people

One consumer financial industry source, who dropped to be named, responded to Obama's Bank of America comments by telling Politico that Obama is treading where he doesn't belong and that he is “anti-business” and pro-Socialism in a way that invokes the image of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.

The Bank of America debit card fee stance, which the president took, disappointed American Bankers Association President Frank Keating.

“It’s disappointing and puzzling that the President would attack a private corpora-tion for responding to government price fixing that has fundamentally altered the economics of offering a debit card. As a direct result of the Durbin Amendment, consumers have started pay-ing for financial services they previously enjoyed free of charge. Unfortunately, this proves that whenever government tries to control pricing of a product or service, consumers lose.”


ABC News


USA Today