Bank of America Corp., America’s second-largest bank by assets, has been testing monthly fees in several states as part of an effort to recoup losses incurred by the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, a move that has angered bank customers.
“No one wants to be the guinea pig,” Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said on Thursday, according to the Boston Herald. “Obviously it suggests they have a cavalier attitude toward our consumers.”
Galvin said that he plans to file a bill within a few days that would effectively ban banks from holding state and municipal deposits unless they offer a program with free basic checking services for individuals under the age of 18 or over 65, a requirement for state-chartered banks.
The fees being tested in Massachusetts, Georgia and Arizona include a $6 and $9 monthly charge to “Essentials” accounts. Some other accounts have monthly fees up to $25 that customers can avoid by doing more business with the bank, including maintaining a minimum account balance, opening a new credit card or requesting a loan, according to the Boston Herald.
Anne Pace, a spokeswoman for Bank of America Corp., said that the new fees will apply only to new accounts, not for existing customers.
Galvin, however, hopes that through the new bill, Bank of America Corp. will abandon its proposed fee policy.
“The bank makes money off of holding your money. They use your money. They shouldn’t be charging you for the privilege,” Galvin said, according to NECN.com. “I think the only thing the bank is going to understand is if it costs them money, and the way to do that is to prevent them from getting state or municipal deposits if they’re going to insist on this policy.”