American Bankers Association President Frank Keating issued a response to President Obama’s condemnation of Bank of America’s plan to charge its customers for debit card purchases.
“It's disappointing and puzzling that the president would attack a private corporation for responding to government price fixing that has fundamentally altered the economics of offering a debit card,” Keating said, ABA.com reports. “As a direct result of the Durbin Amendment, consumers have started paying for financial services they previously enjoyed free of charge.”
Keating said that Bank of America’s decision to charge its customers a $5 monthly fee for using their debit cards is proof that consumers lose whenever government tries to control pricing of a product or service.
President Obama recently criticized Bank of America’s plan and used it as an opportunity to garner support for the consumer financial protection agency that was created by last year’s Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law.
“This is exactly why we need this Consumer Finance Protection Bureau that we set up that is ready to go,” Obama said, ABA.com reports. “This is exactly why we need somebody who's sole job it is to prevent this kind of stuff from happening.”
The CFPB officially began operating in July, however, its full authoritative powers are on hold until Senate Republicans agree to confirm a director for the agency.
Obama encouraged customers to act against the banks that are raising fees and adding new ones.
“You don't have some inherent right just to – you know, get a certain amount of profit,” Obama said, ABA.com reports. “If your customers – are being mistreated. That you have to treat them fairly and transparently.”