Big banks announced their earnings last week, quantifying for the first time the effect of Bank of America's $5 monthly debit fee announced last fall in the wake of the passing of the Dodd-Frank Act.
"We saw an elevated level of account closings in the quarter," Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said on an earnings conference call, according to the Daily Caller. Moynihan also said in the call that though the number of account closures was lower than the same period in 2009 and that the new figures most likely reflect customer anger over the monthly fee.
Last September, Bank of America announced that it would begin charging the $5 fee to customers who use a debit card.
Customers responded to the fee with outrage. Protesters demonstrated outside of Bank of America branches and thousands signed petitions against the fee.
Some customers also took their business elsewhere. Credit unions said that they gained close to 700,000 new customers, though the Daily Caller reports that this number has been exaggerated.
Last November, the $3 trillion Bank of America reversed its decision to impose the fee, originally imposed to recoup lost revenue as a result of increased federal financial regulations.