Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is aggressively pursuing his vendetta against Bank of America by launching an email campaign against its chief executive criticizing its new $5 monthly debit card fee.
“I am outraged at your decision to charge customers a $5 monthly fee just to access their own money with a debit card,” Durbin’s pre-written email to Bank of America’s chief executive Brian Moynihan says, DigitalTransactions.net reports. The letter ads that it is “unacceptable to pad already excessive profits on the backs of hard-working Americans."
Bank of America has blamed its new fees on Durbin’s recent legislation that capped the amount of interchange fees that they were able to collect on debit card transactions and use for services such as innovation, technology and fraud costs.
“I really think that’s horrible, taking a pretty aggressive stance against a business,” Brian Riley, a senior research director for bank cards at the Needham, Mass.-based TowerGroup, DigitalTransactions.net reports. “I think it’s a little too specific. You’d expect he’d be a little more neutral.”
Other large U.S. banks have implemented new and higher fees in order to recoup the revenue loss as well.
Citigroup Inc. will soon double its $15 monthly fee on certain checking-account holders. The bank, however, has not received the negative attention that Bank of America has recently faced.
Nearly every large bank has felt a large loss with the debit card interchange fee cap, but those with higher debit card volume have been hit harder than the others.
Wells Fargo & Co. generates more than 75 percent of its purchase volume from debit cards compared to more credit card based issuers such as Citi or Capital One Financial Corp, according to DigitalTransactions.net.
Bank of America is the nation’s largest debit card issuer.
Retailer trade groups and liberals are hoping and prepping for a credit card interchange cap proposal to hit Congress sometime in the near future.