Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. on Tuesday said he welcomed the decision by the Bank of America to retreat from its practice of charging for the use of consumer debit cards and said he hoped the bank's decision will signal other banks to refrain from imposing a "surcharge on working people." Pallone wrote to the president of the Bank of America on October 7th urging him to back away from the five dollar monthly fee for those with less than $20,000 in their bank accounts.
"Charging customers a $5 monthly fee for simply using their debit cards to make everyday purchases would amount to a surcharge on working people," Pallone said. "It would be an unwarranted charge for those who can least afford it. I'm glad to see that the Bank of America backed away from the planned fee."
Last year, Democrats in Congress passed reform measures to protect American consumers from abusive banking practices. Instead of trying to circumvent the reforms and trying to ignore the real spirit of fairness embodied in them, the bank should do what's right for its customers and for a banking industry trying to recover from a collapse in public respect, Pallone said.
Pallone also noted that the bank's president took home nearly two million dollars in compensation in 2010 while the bank recorded more than 13 billion dollars in revenue for the second quarter.
"The Bank of America obviously realized they made the wrong decision to impose the fees, let's hope that other banks learn the right lesson from the BoA's retreat," said Pallone.