Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Banks Are Backing Off Debit Card Fees

Mega banks Chase and Wells Fargo are reversing their decision to charge customers for using debit cards. Sun-Trust Banks and Regions Financial were charging debit card fees for some time now but it was when Bank of America announced it's $5 debit card fee, public outrage went off the charts.

Banks have blamed the new fees on the loss of revenue they suffered when new federal regulations kicked in. The new regulations that limit the fees they can collect from retailers for handling debit card transactions.

When the announcement was made Sen. Richard Durbin, D.-Ill, called the fee an "outrage" on the floor of the Senate. Sen. Durbin was one of the authors of the new regulations that started the whole process. Durbin encouraged customers of banks that charge fees to "vote with their feet," but consumers were already ahead of him. Credit unions and community banks nationwide are reporting huge spikes in new accounts as consumers seek no-fee options.

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Now Bank of America has announced, through an unidentified source, that they are going to eliminate the debit card fee. But the damage is already done. Many consumers are so angry that they will never do business with the big banks again. The have switched to credit unions that don't charge fees. According to csmonitor.com.

What to Do Now.

If you have already switched and are happy with your new bank, stay put. Many people are enjoying the more personal touch of credit unions. Stay with your new bank for six months and reevaluate then.

GoBankingRates.com revealed that more than 3 out of 10 consumers will switch from a national bank to a local credit union. The tide has not turned on the motivation to abandon the big banks. Even Bank Transfer Day and Occupy Wall Street protesters are still proposing to bail out on the big banks, so to speak.

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