What we’re told is the unstable atmosphere of larger banking institutions has recently been having its ‘trickle-down’ affect on their customers. For Bank of America it means doing away with free use of debit cards even after the bailout. Now they look to institute a $5 monthly fee for the right to use their debit cards if they use their debit card in that month minus ATM usage. Their reasoning is to recover revenue because of government regulations on them that limit what they can charge merchants for debit card transactions. So, to recover the supposed ‘lost revenue’ they’re passing costs on to millions of their customers by early 2012. For Bank of America that loss in revenue is said to be around two billion to be recouped from consumers and other sources.
Yet they’re not alone in this since several bigger banks are looking to join them including Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase set at their own respective monthly fees. All this is in response to swipe fees on debit cards being limited by the federal government. While it’s spun as being approximately six-billion dollars a year of loss in revenue for these large banks. The truth is that it’s a small amount compared to how much these banks make annual and passing the cost on to the consumers is less about recovering lost revenue and more about padding their wallets for their own comfort. Which some would say is more out of greed than financial necessity. These monthly debit card fees are being added on top of elimination of free checking accounts and minimum account balance requirements. It’s no surprise that larger banks are doing this since they see, like everything else in the banking world, their customers as abundant revenue generators and not, well, customers.
And you know what will be the blowback from the majority of Americans who bank at these institutions and are best known for their standing up for their rights and fighting against the unjust? A big sigh and acceptance of being milked for their income some more as they sit themselves back down in front of their televisions. Our founding leaders must be so disappointed in us.