Consumers Union calls on banks to pull back new fees

The Consumers Union is calling on major banks to drop all plans to implement monthly charges for debit card holders.

In a letter to Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and SunTrust, the prominent consumer group called the new fees “ill-timed and unfair,” according to

Bank of America and SunTrust have both announced plans to charge customers $5 each month for using debit cards. Wells Fargo and Chase are also currently testing monthly debit card fees.

A spokesperson from Chase recently said that the bank “has tested a debit card fee in a couple of small markets, and we have no plans to expand the fee," reports.

The banks claim that they are responding to new federal regulations that limit their ability to generate profits and claim to have established certain criteria for customers to meet in order to avoid paying fees.

The banks have accused the government of price fixing and said that a new cap on their ability to collect interchange fees does not cover the cost of debit services.

Norma Garcia, the Consumers Union director of financial services, is not accepting the banks’ reasoning and is encouraging customers to not accept it either.

“If Bank of America and the other banks refuse to drop the debit card fee, consumers should consider dropping them,” Garcia said, according to

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