Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2011

Bank of America's $5 Debit-Card Fee

In late September, Bank of America showed just how out of touch with America it was. The company announced a plan to charge many customers $5 a month to use their debit cards. The fee added momentum and ammunition to the growing Occupy Wall Street movement — outraged that a bank bailed out by taxpayers would turn on customers. Protesters stormed the bank's branches around the country. An online petition started by a 22-year-old, Molly Katchpole of Washington, D.C., denouncing the bank got 300,000 signatures. President Obama called the fee "not good business practice." In early November, Bank of America capitulated, but the damage was done. In one month, credit unions said they gained as many as 650,000 accounts from Bank of America and other large banks, about as many accounts as they had signed up in all of 2010.