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  • Morning Bell: Ready for A Debit Card Tax?

    Use a debit card? Now it’s really going to cost you. Bank of America announced last week that it will begin charging customers $5 per month for use of their debit cards. But if you’re looking for someone to blame, set your sights on Washington.

    Bank of America is imposing the new fee in anticipation of a $2 billion annual loss brought about by the “Durbin Amendment” — a provision of last year’s Dodd-Frank Wall Street financial reform bill.

    Signed into law in July 2010, the measure was intended to protect America from another financial meltdown, but in reality it placed a boatload of new burdens on financial institutions and their customers. The results? Increased risks to the financial system, increased regulations, and in this case, increased costs to anyone who uses a debit card.

    Under the Durbin Amendment–named for its backer Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)–the federal government now limits the amount of money banks can charge merchants when you swipe your debit card, costing them an estimated $6.6 billion per year in revenue. Rather than recoup their costs from merchants, banks are looking to consumers to pay the bill.

    Enter Bank of America’s new fee. But they’re not alone. Wells Fargo expects to lose $1 billion, prompting it to adopt a $3 fee for debit cards in some areas. JPMorgan Chase is also rolling out new fees, as is Citibank. Smaller banks are getting into the game, too, as the Associated Press reports. Atlanta-based SunTrust recently instituted a $5 debit card fee, while Regions Financial in Birmingham, Alabama, will begin charging a $4 fee next month. In Texas, International Bancshares has announced last week the closure of 55 branches in grocery stores and the loss of 500 jobs.

    Heritage’s Diane Katz explains that free debit cards aren’t the only things to disappear under the new law. Katz writes that a study fromBankrate.com found that the proportion of free checking accounts (of the non-interest variety) has fallen this year to 45 percent from 65 percent in 2010 and 76 percent two years ago. According to the 2011 Checking Account Survey, the number of free accounts “is likely to drop further as banks and their customers adjust to recent regulatory changes in banking.” And, Katz says, those who can least afford it will pay the price:

    The new fees will hit lower-income families the hardest. That’s because banks often exempt premium accounts from user fees to nurture more profitable customers. Faced with higher fees, some cash-strapped consumers will migrate to credit cards—if they can qualify. More stringent regulations have tightened the availability of credit while also increasing interest rates and fees.

    In typical populist fashion, Senator Durbin sold his amendment as consumer-friendly. But any regulation that increases consumer costs and raises consumer debt is inherently anti-consumer and economically destructive.

    Bank of America is already seeing a backlash from its decision. Its stock dropped by more than 3.5 percent on Friday, and its website was hit with outages and glitches over the weekend (drawing speculation of attacks by disgruntled hackers). But that anger should be directed at Washington, which passed the regulations leading to the Durbin tax. And there’s one thing Congress can and should do to solve the problem: repeal it.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    99 Responses to Morning Bell: Ready for A Debit Card Tax?

    1. William F. Simmons says:

      This is another of the government's micromanaging an industry. They always screw it up and cause unintended consequences just as they are doing with the health insurance industry. They always increase costs and decrease services. I wish this administration and congress would get of the backs of business. Bill Simmons

      • Mary Jane Casablanca says:

        We'll soon be like Italy, where I lived for 3 years recently. Banks charge fees for every transaction, including depositing and withdrawing your own money! So, it was of necessity a cash society, and that's what we'll become until we can change the laws by changing Congress and the presidency in 2012.

    2. Mary......WI says:

      I suppose more people will be walking around with more cash in their wallets to avoid using paper checks, debit and credit cards. Dangerous. Congress needs to quit sitting around stariing at each other scratching their heads. DO SOMETHING! Repeal!!!!

      • Jules says:

        As long as folks exercise their 2nd amendment rights, it should be okay. Just a few less thugs walking the streets trying to mug folks, who might be carrying. Okay with me.

    3. It is sad when we have to pay to use our own money. The liberals say they are for the middle class but their actions show other wise. Mr Dubin. And I am on SS so it is a hit on finances.

      • Robert, TX says:

        Jim, NO one in Washington is FOR the middle class. Last November's elections (and the resulting coma that the house republicans went into) proved that. Over 98% of ALL Congressmen are in it for themselves, their lobbyists, their interests and the money. PERIOD. And as long as the vast majority of Americans are satisfied with the biennial rep. vs. dem. catfight – nothing will change. The LOSERS in today's political elections are the working, law-abiding, taxpaying, American citizens. The WINNERS are the welfare scum (over 100 million of them); the unemployment bums; criminals; lobbyists; speculators and those corporations that have "invested" in the process: pharmaceuticals, managed healthcare, healthcare consulting companies and the investment banking community.

        • ThomNJ says:

          Robert, you are right on the money, here – no pun intended – Washington DC is all about how to bleed the middle class and pay off the welfare class and special interests while the pols keep their cushy "power" jobs. I said just yesterday to a friend that DC will never change as long as people keep voting in the incumbents from their districts while at the same time trashing the rest of the Congress. All incumbents ought to be primaried or we will never see tax fairness, term limits and the removal of the excessive perks that that Congress has granted themselves.

          • Robert, TX says:

            Thanks, Thom, I agree. The only addition would be that we can elect independents, Constitution party candidates or Libertarian candidates and bypass the primaries. Let the republicans spend over $1 billion – and give it to the mainstream media – and just bypass them. MacArthur would love it.

        • Fred says:

          Enough with the name calling. Come up with solutions or just be quiet.

        • Robert Davy says:

          Please tell us how we can help repeal the Durban Bill.
          Thank You.

    4. bgkenney says:

      Not lost on me is this law came from Illinois, one of the worst run states in the union.

    5. Robert, TX says:

      As if Washington did not have better things to do. Yes, Heritage it should be repealed NOW (good luck with that) – yet, I hardly remember a filibuster or any protest from the House republicans. This move will drive even MORE people to the cash economy – further stripping one of our best (in the past) economic engines (our banking system). Millions upon millions of Americans do not have a checking account, because they were driven away by these hideous fees, and charges. And the banks to not have the "free balances" that were the basis of sound commercial lending from 1950 – 1990. But they can get free money from the FED to invest in commodities speculation.

      • brian says:

        way low with 4 cents—-Administration (salaries), fraud protection, fraud losses are huge–hackers, skimmers, phishers. You need to study a little.

    6. Jeff, Illinois says:

      Wrong! The Banks are to blame . . because it's been known that they only need about 4cents per transaction to cover their expenses and they've been charging 10 times that amount. Finally the government said wait a minute. Now the banks are trying to circumvent a limit put on their consumer gowging. What's needed is more regulation, not less . . to keep the banks from exploiting the public. There's a stat out there, that the top 6 banks control 60% of the nation's GDP. What's wrong with that picture? This is a classic example of what happens when there's insufficient regulation, the large financial institutions resort to GREED! In this case .. the banks are going to attempt to market gowge instead abiding by the spirit of the profit limit put on them. It's a distortion to blame the government!!

      • Deeli says:

        Amen, Jeff! People don't seem to understand how much the banks were gouging merchants and that includes your beloved local mom and pop stores like small restaurants, beauty salons etc. What did that mean for each merchant before this law? That meant for every $10.00 you might pay for a haircut from your favorite hairstylist the salon was charged $1.00 because of the 10% per transaction fee and that money went directly to the bank. And then the merchant still has to pay additional monthly fees plus purchase their own debit card machine from the bank or a bank affiliate or pay to rent the machine. The same goes whether purchasing a meal or a new pair of shoes.

      • Deeli says:

        Blame the banks! It's their greed that caused this problem in the first place! They can easily cut back on waste and their overly abundant profits and upper echelon salaries! But why should they when, instead of gouging the merchants, they can gouge you instead and blame it all on DC so they can look like the victims? I am as conservative as it comes in regards to too much government control but there are times it is necessary! Fight back folks! Change banks or use cash or write an old fashioned check! You as a citizen can, and should, personally take responsibility and effect change!

      • Ben C. says:

        The challenge with any business is to generate revenue – otherwise the business becomes history. I run a small business and if one stable revenue stream dries up then it is up to me to figure something out to keep the business afloat. Government regulations continue to cost me money. Even though I got rid of my Bank of America card several years ago I understand why they are charging for the service. It's about the bottom line. For me, I bank locally. I have much better service when I walk into the bank and they know my name.

      • ColoradoHawkeye says:

        Jeff- here's a thought: Make decisions for yourself instead of relying on the Government to make them for you. Nobody forces you to do business with the big banks. If you don't like ‘em, ditch ‘em. Personally, I cancelled every "big bank" account after the bailouts and now do ALL my banking with a local credit union. Big Banks actually welcome more regulations- it drives out smaller competitors (like credit unions & small town banks) and allows them to simply pass the costs on to consumers (i.e. a tax). Regulations are not the answer. Stop being a "victim" and be part of the solution.

        • Jeff, Illinois says:

          Here's a thought . . who said that I'm using those banks . . I'm just commenting on obvious GREED, for the sake of the common good. Your view is a typical narrow one.

          • Bobbie says:

            who are you to draw personal judgment of "greed" on anyone? cause government put it on the grapevine and you put it in your head? why spend time dwelling? You want money? WORK FOR IT!

          • ColoradoHawkeye says:

            So Jeff, explain to me how thinking & making decisions for yourself is “a narrow view". Look at what happened to NetFlix when they made a stupid decision- people left in droves. The same applies here. If enough people get fed up with the Big Banks and stop doing business there, the Big Banks cease to exist. That's how a free market works. In your world, an unelected Government bureaucrat gets to define "GREED" by fiat and implement regulations "for the sake of the common good". In reality, all this does is allow lobbyists and crooked politicians to pick winners and losers and game the system for their own benefit. In your world, the loser ends up being the smaller bank that can’t cope with an endless pile of regulations and ultimately, us, the consumer. If you really want to work for the common good, truly study the ideas provided on this website with open mind. You don't have to agree with all it, but get some perspective……

            • Jeff, Illinois says:

              The views on this website are a sad statement of how rampant corporate propaganda thrives with the uninformed / FAUX News followers. If you want to learn something try the Huffington Post.

      • Steve S. says:

        So you're telling me that Congress didn't know that the banks are greedy and would resort to this as a result of their actions? And if you don't like the banks (I don't like the rotten so and so's either) what about the Fed? We need to reign ALL of them in. Unfortunately, money talks. You know the rest.

      • Jim says:

        4 cents per transaction? I'd love where you see that BS figure from. Oh wait, I know. Washington told you, right?

    7. James says:

      This really hurts big time. Unfortunately my bank is Bank of America and while they said it won't take place until 2012; the bank seemed to know anything else about it. Not just that but they'll probably hit my free checking account as a result of Social Security. What about a Politicians Tax when they can't balance the budget greater than that the millionaires pay. But of course, that would never happen. As a 60's folk singer once said "I'm only sighing."

      • ThomNJ says:

        I am also a BofA customer – I can't find a thing about this on their website – try searching the press releases – it just doesn't come up. A search of news articles has lots of hits, though.

      • KC - NM says:

        So why not pull out of B of A and go to a bank that does not charge the fee? Competition could hurt B of A in this case!

    8. Dave in OH says:

      This tax is just the beginning. The Obama Admin also plans to implement a 1% tax on ALL bank transactions, EACH TRANSACTION. For instance, your social security check will be taxed 1% when you have it direct deposited (this House Bill will also legislate that ALL payroll, SSI, etc. checks be direct deposited). When you withdraw any of it, or pay any of it out by check, there will be a 1% bank fee on each transaction.

      • Robert, TX says:

        Which sounds insane, doesn't it? Yet, that's what people said when the govt. instituted withholding (and Roosevelt promised it was temporary) – largest single loss of freedom in American History. But Dave, you know John Boehner would never let this happen, would he?

      • Deeli says:

        To put your heart at rest, Dave, that bill died in congress :-) To help make sure it dies if it's brought forth again we need to vote Obama and all his cohorts out in 2112 ;-)

      • Doug Nicholson says:

        Absolutely correct, Dave. I heard about this "proposal" a year or so ago and passed it on to all my contacts. Deposit money into your account, 1%. Receive a direct deposit from Social Security, 1%. Transfer from savings account to checking, 1%. Write a check on your account, 1%. Withdraw cash at the ATM, 1%. Make an online bill payment, 1%. This is an OUTRAGE, as is Dodd-Frank, which is the cause of these banks' actions attempting to recoup the losses caused by the bill. Government NEVER does anything that results in benefits for "We the People". We must make everyone aware of the " Proposed 1% Bank Transaction Tax"!

      • Brenda Choate says:

        What bill is tlhis?

    9. Francis Siders says:

      I to will be carrying arouond a lot more cash. They have my money to use and I have to pay them to use it.I guess they will never run out of reasons to get our money, my question is what are they planning to do when the have taken all we have. The next thing you know they will spend Billions of $ to put controls on our toilets so the can charge by the flush.

      • Mary A says:

        too cute, but they have already done that by requiring low flow toilets and through electric/water utilities rate standard increases, gotcha !

    10. Frank says:

      @ Bill Simmons: You are exactly right. The bigger the government, the more they screw it up. We desperately need smaller government & less red tape & fewer regulations, not bigger government. We need to return to a free market economy with basic simple rules, like "full disclosure" for any business and let the consumers & investors decide what to buy or invest in. Failure to fully disclose would leave businesses open to lawsuits. Let competition drive the market, not artificial rules & regulations dreamt up by big government (& often done for the benefit of a select few that are big political donors). If we don't move toward smaller government & more free market competition, our nation will continue to collapse economically.

    11. Janice says:

      I choose to use cash as often as I can and only use my debit or credit card only in emergencies. I remember the days before credit and debit cards. It is an eye opener to only be able to spend what is in your pocket and keeps you from over spending.

    12. Wu Ming Ren says:

      I suspect that by the time the Durbin amendment is repealed, every bank in America will be charging monthly fees for the use of plastic cards. I believe those fees will remain in place even after the amendment is repealed. Banks will have become dependent upon the added revenue; patrons will have become accustomed to the fees.

      I remember when banks were encouraging people to obtain debit cards because it saved the banks money to have patrons use ATMs rather than bank tellers for routine transactions. Some banks even charged transaction fees to those who used bank tellers instead of ATMS. Once everyone got the cards and were primarily using ATMs, banks started charging transaction fees at ATMs. Nice.

      I stopped using any ATMs that charged me transaction fees. Since then, I've been using debit cards to set up automatic bill payments. I never use a credit card, because I don't believe in paying interest (Dave Ramsey). I'd never own a credit card that, in addition to interest charges, also has an annual fee. I pay all my bills online, whether through automatic monthly payments or one-time transactions, and I need a debit card to do that. So, once again they've got us dependent on plastic; the trap is baited and set, and now — SNAP! — they want to start charging monthly fees.

      I don't have so many bills to pay, so, unless the U.S. Post Office jacks up the cost of 1st Class mail again, it would be cheaper for me to write checks and mail them than it would be to pay a monthly fee. Obama doesn't know how to run an economy — he's got it running in reverse! Perhaps, at the rate the Obama administration is dismantling America, those bills will be carried by Pony Express.

    13. Red Baker says:

      The Durbin Debit Card Fee. Place the blame and the name where it belongs. Democrats = higher costs for everything.

    14. Steve says:

      Everyone here is missing the point. First, without this amendment the banks would simply pass this cost (or lost revenue) on to the merchants who accept the cards. They in turn pass the cost on to all their customers. Remember that merchants are forbidden from charging any fees or limitations on the use of credit/debit cards. So in essence the debit card user wants all consumers (including those paying with cash or checks) to finance the cost of the use of their cards. I say it's their decision to use a debit card – let them pay the cost. The amendment simply prohibits the banks from passing the cost on to all consumers.

      • ThomNJ says:

        Steve, you are quite correct and that is waht the banks were doing – they were assessing the merchants. However, I would offer that there should not be a law on this issue either, because then a bank could choose to charge the merchant or the user or some combination of both – that would be called choice and competition – and Heaven knows the communists/socialists/progressives detest that – they have to force the issue one way or the other.

    15. Bill says:

      Apparently we will NEVER recover from the elections of 2006 and 2008. Perhaps it is not just those elections as the more the onion is peeled, the more we see complicity from not only the progressives but from all of the ruling class. Without a time machine, I see no hope.

      • dadzo says:

        Well, we still haven't recovered from the elections of 2000, 2004 and 2010, either. Did those give you hope?

    16. RG Schmidt says:

      The problem with hoping Congress will repeal any law is that you're hoping politicians will admit to having made a mistake by passing said law, and that politician hasn't been born.

    17. tom s says:

      yeah, just keep on voting the morons "back" in every election time. O course, most of the entitlement bums will probably not be effected by these "changes".(be aware that SS & Medicare is not an entitlement, but has been paid for by those actually entitled to receive it) Like always, it will have to be those who actually pay the taxes that will have to fork it out. Perhaps the answer is to support the Tea-Party & then insist on term limitations & a gross reduction of the perks afforded congress & those in government. ??

      • Bill says:

        I think you have the answer

      • ThomNJ says:

        You are right that SS & Medicare was not supposed to be an entitlement, but they have become just that – how else can one explain the fact that we have taken in old and sometimes sick folks from Russia (for example) – and they use Medicare. Look at some of the Russian-only speaking communities tucked into Minneapolis and Chicago for which we provide Medicare and Medicaid – they came here late in life and now reap the benefits of a system they never paid dime one into. So our government has succeeded in making these entitlements.

    18. Robert says:

      It is high time for term limits for ALL elected officals.. There is no other way we will have any person in washington looking out for the common man…..Robert

    19. DocJohnM says:

      Washington wants nothing more than a stranglehold on each one of us. Durban should be repealed along with his debit card plan. I am barely making it and this is going to hurt. Washington won't be happy until all the money is in their greedy hands. We are living in the fall of America and it's is planned very carefully to bring the U.S to her knees. Obama and his cronies have seen to that like Caligula they push the homosexual agenda and party at our expense, living large while we suffer with fees of ridiculous proportions. Obama wants to be crowned a king not president. Stop the fees, stop the increased taxes and stop the Chicago politics.

    20. Curt Krehbiel says:

      The 1% tax outlined by Dave in OH above is a much more costly charge to the public at large than the fee the banks will impose. The real problem with the new fees is the cost of compliance with the regulation. The administration is using promulgation of regulations in all areas of business and industry to stifle output and cause more lay off of employees. The goal is to cripple business and industry to the extent that it will have to be taken over by government as the socialism spins its sticky webb until we are all captured and become wards of the government.

    21. Whicket Williams says:

      You should never fool with a bank unless you are RICH Credit unions are free for poor Folks!

    22. KEN says:

      Time for a law which gives a 5% discount at the register if you pay cash. Perhaps people will quit "overspending". Maybe they will stop wondering why they don't have money for the kids' lubchesor or morgage payments AND START DEMANDING BETTER CONTROL OF OUR MONEY BY THE"BOOBS" IN CONGRESS.

    23. Bill S. says:

      MY COMMENT IS NOT RELATED TO THE ARTICLE. I AM AGAINST WHATEVER HE DOES. HOWEVER, TALK IS CHEAP…WE NEED ACTIONS TO STOP THE DELCINE OF AMERICA! IS THERE ANYONE ON THE HORIZON THAT HAS THE GUTS TO DO WHAT IT TAKES? IT STARTS WITH REMOVING THE CANCERS IN OUR SOCIETY AT THE VERY NEIGHBORHOOD LEVEL AND THEN WORK UP FROM THERE. WELFARE IS ONE OF THE CANCERS. VOTING SHOULD NOT BE A RIGHT FOR EVERYONE! IT SHOULD BE AN EARNED PRIVILEGE BY THOSE WHO HAVE PAID INTO THE SYSTEM AND HAVE A VESTED SELF-INTEREST IN THE VALUES OF OUR COUNTRY. OUR FOUNDING FATHERS WANTED ONLY LAND OWNERS TO VOTE. PERHAPS WE SHOULD CONSIDER IDEAS THAT COMPLETELY RE-SHAPE OUR NATION BEFORE THE INTRUDERS AND THE DEAD-BEATS TAKE IT AWAY FROM US!

    24. SANDY says:

      will any financial institution be out of the loop?

      • Nobama2012 says:

        I'm not sure if credit unions are exempt…but I'm moving my $ to a local CU as soon as I can change my direct deposit! BOA can BITE ME!

    25. Moose says:

      Blame Dodd-Frank for it…

    26. Pete Houston says:

      If a followup article is written can it include the amounts charged and the types of items that the government is restricting. I am fed up with the banks and their fees. Their is a fee for everything. Guess the fee business is better than loaning money to people that can grow their business. I am good with going back to the cash method of payment. No records etc for the banks or government to sell to someone else about my purchasing habits.

    27. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Just as with ObamaCare, you ant seen nothing yet. We had better brace ourselves for a whole lot more.

    28. A. Terranova says:

      Not only is the Obama administration at fault but so is the news media. They know what is in these new regulations but instead of making all the details available, very often they use selective reporting and simply ignore those facts that would change the outcomes.

    29. Leah says:

      I am a small business owner and I have to tell you these banks have really been killing us with these fees. My mercahnt bill from taking debit and credit cards is about 2000.00 per month. Where do you think I get that money thats right I have had to raise prices. The average debit transaction fee for me is about .65 I tryed to pass a .50 fee on to customers using cards and was told I would pay a 50,000.00 fine if i continued. Visa and Mastercard charge and then your bank charges. It is a doubly whammy that has been getting passed along to you already. Maybe this will help lower prices.

    30. Jackson, TX says:

      What are "we the people to do"? Get a money belt to accompany your holster, get your carry permit and be prepared to defend yourself, I suppose.

    31. Lou says:

      I find it interesting that Bank of America and some of these other banks were more than willing to hold out their hand for a bailout from the federal government, but then appear surprised that the government is placing more restrictions on them.

      After they were bailed out, they should have been in a position to improve their bottom line by billions. Instead, they gave executives big, fat raises. Bank of America and other "bailout" banks have already swindled our tax money. Now they want to swindle individuals for more. They should have used that bailout money to improve their business processes so they wouldn't have to charge customers unnecessarily.

      I'm done with bailout banks. I have opened an account at a credit union, where we won't get dinged for everything.

    32. KC - NM says:

      Thanks to the Dodd-Frank bill approved by Congress (democrats) and the administration, the banks are more out of touch and out of control than before. B of A can be hurt by this action by its customers simply pulling their money out and going to a bank that does not charge the fee or as much. Competition is wonderful! Also, this is just the beginning for all financial institutions (banks, investment companies, etc.). We are going to be nickel and dimed to death for every action that we do. Time to pull out of these companies – let the competition take care of the issue!

    33. toledofan says:

      Another prime example of our government out of control; another bill that had to be passed before we knew what was in it. I can say one thing for certain the Democrat Party of today isn't even close to what the Democratic Party was to my dad and Its clears to me, even though they talk about how much they care about the middle class, it's obvious they are trying their best to eliminate it. Socialism 101, the rich and the poor and nothing in the mddle. Where is the outrage or the truth from the main stream media.

    34. Bob Grassell says:

      If I could be president,I would have the Justice Department looking into the banks and Federal Reserve as soon as my hand was off the bible. They are not losing money ihey are just not making as much as they were.
      And what about the bail out money that was lent to those banks? NEXT TIME LET THEM SINK

    35. My bank, USAA, had to deal with this as well. Originally, their debit card provided cash back when it was run as a credit card, and they refund all ATM fees. I don't use much cash, so the former incentive program was much more useful to me. Due to this bill, they were forced to cancel one of the two incentives, and customer surveys revealed that more people utilized the ATM fee rebates. As such, the cash back program was canceled. I guess that is another "tax" I'm going to have to pay.

    36. Mary A says:

      So close your acct @ B of A, it's that simple. There are 1000's of other banks out there. That's how free market competitive capitalism works. Other banks will be thrilled to get your business.

    37. Carol M Kite says:

      And the hits just keep coming!

    38. Al Connelly says:

      We are moving in the direction of England by unionizing too many functions. They managed to go from the premiere ship building to losing the business. I did work in Canary Wharf and our efficiency was down to approximately 4 hours work for 8 hours pay. We witnessed similar phenomena in NY city where we had six hour work for 8 hour pay. The primary cause is unreasonable work rules and protection of jobs by longevity regardless of the quality and capability of the worker. Our automobile industry has been crippled by their union contracts and the inability to relocate to states with "right to work" without paying homage to the UAW.

      We now see that the postal service is in the same fix. We must break these ridiculous contracts in order to salvage the Postal Service and allow management to make the decisions on retirement, work force reduction, cluster boxes, vehicle selection and purchase, etc. And we must work to separate the Union stranglehold on business and prevent the NLRB intervention into management decisions such as Boeing Aircraft decision to open facilities in South Carolina, regardless of the intent. (UAW claim is Boeing acted in retaliation to work stoppages caused by the UAW in Seattle. Even if this is so, isn't that a reasonable business practice? Al

    39. Ron W. Smith says:

      Those of us who have long experience with Bank of America know this debit fee to be but the tip of the iceberg in that organization and in ther big businesses generally these days. BOA has fees and assorted medieval punishments for every occasion. I've been in on a number of them since my travels have occasionally made me forget, by a day, due payments. Only BOA chose to put me on the rack in those few instances. A signature loan I had with them was automatically converted from a fixed interest loan to revolving credit (as in credit card) when payment arrived a day late. My fault, yes, but the rack? My pleas fell on deaf ears, the only concession, finally, nothing submitted by BOA to damage my high credit rating. Have you ever thought of the difference between fixed low interest and the interest on revolving credit? Do, and don't become involved with the latter.
      Then there's my current problem with BOA. I'm fiduciary of my late aunt's Trust. The work has been ongoing for almost five months now, and ALL financial organizations where she had deposits have accepted proof of my trusteeship, her death, and long ago sent checks to the Family Protection Trust. Not BOA, though. We're still battling to get them to accept my legitimacy, unquestioned anywhere else, and will have to engage in litigation, no doubt. I started the paperwork process for all of the financial institutions the same day–May 19. All payments from closed accounts were in by late July. But not from BOA. Not even now.
      There are very strange things going on in America in the name of "costs of doing business" and "profitability." Customer service has all but disappeared, replaced by convoluted automated systems, and fees are everywhere (checked in your luggage lately?) imaginable. Shareholder value has gone up, as have executive salaries. Wage-earning employee benefits are being reduced while employee pay remains pretty much where it was, once adjusted for inflation, ever since 1980. And private insurer health care costs are spiraling, as planned by those who torpedoed Single Payer and Public Option, thus effectively reducing the take-home of employees everywhere.
      BOA: Is there any wonder why it's slowly but surely going under? Which corporation is next in line, guilty of customer and employee abuse in the guise of "necessity"? Those marches on Wall Street could be the start of something. Believe it.

    40. gongdark says:

      BOA, no matter what the government did or didn't do, would still have found a way of making you smile funny.
      First rule…..If the government says it is doing or will do something for the general populations good….bend over and, oh yes, you'll have to provide your own KY jelly.

    41. freedom says:

      What they will do when they have taken all of our money and our rights and destroyed business, banks and all private enterprise is we will become Cuba. They will take our property, our houses, our freedoms. They will talk in sweet language about how good the government is and they will give us free education (propaganda, that is) and free health care (no one would want to have such care – egad.)
      We will have to be good little revolutionaries or we will be harassed, beaten, or arrested and taken to the gulag.
      2012 come quickly. Bring us a good conservative team to beat this crowd. Repeal everything that they passed and start to cut and fix their mess.

    42. Jules says:

      The simple answer is to move your account to some other bank which is not jacking up the rates. Usually, this will be the smaller financial institutions in your hometown who will be happy to get the business. Why anyone is dealing with BOA after the bail out mess is beyond me.

    43. The debit charge limit fought for by small retailers (7-11's etc) resulted in removing a 2.5% surcharge on all debit charge transactions. It makes send because you could buy a newspaper and the store owner would lose money in the transaction. '

    44. doc-polymer says:

      Francis. does that mean we can go back to toilets that work? If you carry the 1% transition all the way through it just keeps compounding. Every time you write a check, someone has to cash it and theres another 1%. This goes on and on and on.

    45. Tom says:

      By and large, members of Congress live in the pockets of interests such as the banking lobby and they regularly tell their owned representatives (Sen. Durbin for instance) exactly what to do and how to vote. Almost every vote in Congress is for sale. Party affiliation doesn't matter and it never has. Take your money out of the banking system and see how BofA and Wells Fargo like that.

    46. Derek F says:

      This is a good example of why the government that governs least governs best.

    47. Peter Wormwood says:

      What are Credit Unions going to do?

    48. Janice P. says:

      Interesting timing on the part of BofA. Less than a month ago the State (of CA. at least) notified their umpteen thousands of unemployed receiveing benefits their twice monthly payments will now be done with a Debit Card …….. through the Bank of America. Ahhh, the smell of money.

    49. William R. Barker says:

      You know what, Mike; give it a rest.

      Yeah… I get it… Dodd-Frank distorted incentives and this is the result.

      But here's the deal: If I banked with Bank of America and they refused to waive the fee I'd simply close my account(s) and take my business elsewhere.

      I've gotta be honest, here; it might not be such a bad thing on balance to have Americans "inconvenienced" by the unintended consequences of big government so as to make them face – in a clear and direct personal way – the reality of what happens when we as citizens allow government to "protect" our interests to the nth degree.

    50. Lasttry says:

      The only way to fix the situation is at the election polls. Elect the person who promises to fix this, or at least fights congress to fix the problem, then impeach them when they lied and didn't do what they promised, the next person will get the message we mean what we say.

    51. McGoo says:

      The government is doing it's thing which changes the market place. The customer will gravatate to what they precieve as the best deal, and the free market will work it out. But the government has messed with the free market yet again and the result will be inacurate market movements when there is more pressure on the banks or the customers.

    52. RIpete says:

      Another Congressional boondoggle which will cost we the people more money – how many political contributions were made to the Democrat party by big business to pass this law. Once a financial bill is tainted with Barney Franks name you know it will screw the working stiff.

    53. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Bank of America, and the other big banks, are considering having a 5% fee on all non-bank uses of debit cards.
      That's dumb.

    54. Richard Willems says:

      Any business has to make a profit. Anytime the government restricts a business or imposes a tax on a business, that money will be made up somehow, usually from it's customers. But the politicians don't care, they just want the populist vote.

    55. carol,az says:

      Has anyone ever ask Bank of America how many millions of dollars they lost giving credit cards and credit lines to illegals living in America?
      Not to worry: we've been asked to pick up the tab while accessing our own money. CHANGE BANK ASAP.

    56. George says:

      Good Bye Bof A

    57. Donnie says:

      When paying with a debit card yesterday, I selected the 'cash back feature', and they wanted a $1.00 fee for that service. Must be something new on the East Coast.

    58. Von says:

      I'm still waiting for Frank and Dodd to be held accountable for the housing meltdown.

    59. americancaptialism says:

      "Unintended Consequences" used to work. This is another obvious step to severely damage our Free Market system as much and as fast as they (the Obama Administration) can. LIES WORK!

    60. Earl, QUEENS, NY says:

      It’s not just bank fees, which along with Obamacare and automobile industry regulations are just a few of many ways in which we all pay for government regulation, even if it’s well intended. But given today’s socialist demon-crat party, I really think these detrimental regulations are a deliberate effort to sabotage the economy so Democraps can rebuild America into a socialist utopia. WAKE UP!! Look also at the malcontents protesting on Wall Street. Some are even wearing costumes – as loony as the PETA wackos!! Instead of protesting against capitalism and freedom, these morons need to start protesting instead against high taxes and excessive ridiculous regulation which is destroying jobs and hurting most Americans!!

      • jeff p says:

        I agree I'm so sick of these stupid regulations. I want maggots in my meat again. I want benzene in my drinking water again. I don't want fire alarms in my work building anymore. I want to get locked into my building and ask permission to go to the bathroom. I don't want vacation days or holidays off either. Let's leave it up to the goodness of the kind and benovolent business leaders to bring back these all american values.

    61. jeff p says:

      Great article. I really enjoyed it. Once again, great writing from a foundation we can trust. I expect no less.

      • jeff p says:

        The above post was a joke. I just wanted to see if all my posts were blocked on purpose. If I say something true, it's blocked by the moderator. If I say something untrue, like the false post above, it's approved. Funny.

    62. Lee Hazel says:

      There is truly a very disgusting side to this whole issue. That is the fact that there is a Dodd-Frank banking reform bill
      Their names on this Bill is about as "in your face" to the American people as can be done by our Elitist Political Class. Dodd and Frank along with Schumer, Durbin et all have their fingerprints all over the collapse of our Financial Sector. Schumer and IndyMac, Dodd just being Dodd, Frank and the criminal conspiracy we continue to tolerate in the form of Freddy and Fanny Mac.
      This fiasco continues as we approach the 2012 elections. We can only hope that a large segment of this privileged group will find out what "unemployment" is all about. Unfortunately we have provided literally thousands of "hidey-Holes" for these creatures in Academia, Foundations, and bloated Federal agencies where they not only get paid but get to continue their nefarious ways unabated.
      It stinks.

    63. Nobama2012 says:

      I'm sorry, carrying cash in the southern part of AZ isn't smart at all! This Dodd-Frank bill only exploits the little people by making banks RICHER off of our on money! They earn interest off of us and BOA received BILLIONS in bailouts. One more way to screw us over….thank you Dodd-Franks! You're FIRED!

    64. Michael MN says:

      All I know is if this keeps up, are Lord Jesus Christ will be returning soon.

    65. Gina Detwiler says:

      Apparently no one has told the Occupy Wall-Street crowd about this legislation – just as they are blissfully unaware of the Civil RIghts Laws, the laws defining equality in the workplace, the progressive income tax (wherein the evil 1% pay more than 50% of total taxes) and a host of other "reforms" that this country has made since the Stone Age, when their parents were dancing in the streets wearing peace signs. Let's not let facts get in the way of our protests.

    66. J.G. says:

      A new report by The Financial Services Roundtable goes over the results of several studies of the Durbin Amendment and, unsurprisingly, concludes that its impact on consumers will be neutral at best and most likely negative.

      The debit card fees tested by most big banks may have been getting the most attention, however they are just one aspect of the banks' strategies for coping with the Durbin Amendment's revenue-slashing effects. The end result is that banking is still becoming more expensive, debit card fees or not.

      Yet, there is a positive side effect for consumers with high credit scores who are actually benefiting from the Durbin Amendment, because they now get bombarded with credit card offers featuring incredible rewards programs from issuers eager to drive customers away from debit and into the more profitable credit. http://blog.unibulmerchantservices.com/impact-of-

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