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Durbin continues to act surprised at new bank fees

Dick DurbinSen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill) has written Wells Fargo a letter requesting an explanation for its new $3 monthly debit card fee.

Wells Fargo, along with several major U.S. banks, has publicly warned that it would have to raise and add new fees in order to recoup the money lost on interchange fees if the Durbin Amendment went into effect, according to IBTimes.com.

The Durbin Amendment went into effect on Oct. 1 and, as promised, banks have increased costs for its consumers.

Bank of America has announced a $5 monthly debit card fee. Wells Fargo will charge $3 each month for debit card purchases while other banks, including SunTrust and Chase, have increased costs on other types of services.

In his letter, Durbin wrote that Wells Fargo’s new fees contradict with the bank’s report of a record 21 percent increase in earnings in its most recent quarterly filing.

"Instead of making up costs, your new consumer fee appears to be a plain attempt to increase your profits-even though your bank just reported third quarter profits that hit a record high," Durbin wrote, IBTimes.com reports.

Wells Fargo spokesman Jay Lawrence said that the bank needs to make up for the costs of new federal regulations somewhere, WSav.com reports.

According to Lawrence, the notion that Wells Fargo is trying to profit from the new rules is baseless and that comparing their revenue reports to their fees is an irrelevant argument.

"I think that those are certainly separate," Lawrence said, IBTimes.com reports.  "What's happening here is you're looking at a service that we provide that costs us more than what we can get for it, so I think we have to simply break it down like that. I just don't think they're related to this."

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