Chicago Treasurer Responds to Debit Card Fees
CHICAGO CITY TREASURER RESPONDS TO BANK OF AMERICA’S DEBIT CARD FEES
Bank of America is biting the hand that bailed them out. That hand belongs to the beleaguered middle class.
Yes, BofA repaid the $45 billion in federal monies that brought the country’s largest bank back from the brink. But Americans won’t soon forget the mass fraud that was perpetrated on homeowners and taxpayers.
Bank of America is among the first banks to begin charging people $5 a month to use a debit card to access their own money. Again, that statement bears reiterating: BofA has decided to charge its customers a fee to access their own money. And unfortunately, this is a trend that’s being repeated by other banks. The move is BofA’s reaction to a new regulation that limits the swipe fees banks used to collect from merchants every time a debit card was used.
The banks are recouping future lost revenues from the people who have the least amount of money to spend, the American middle class.
American homeowners are still saddled with outsized loans on homes whose values have plummeted. Efforts to refinance, renegotiate or modify loans are stalled by a banking system with no incentive to ease homeowner misery.
The people caught in this financial squeeze don’t have a golden parachute and they don’t collect million-dollar bonuses. Their salaries are shrinking, their disposable income is vaporizing, and national unemployment is still above 9%. That number is markedly higher among minorities, and it doesn’t include the people who’ve given up looking for a job.
No one has come along to bail them out.
A $5 monthly fee for using a debit card may generate lost revenue for banks like BofA, but it is already generating ill-will and resentment.
Bankers have lost the faith and trust of the American people. They need to rebuild that trust before they resume nickel-and-diming their clientele.
Posted in Local Businesses, Opinion, Politics and Legislation