President Obama attempted to clarify his recent attack against businesses during a press conference on Thursday.
Earlier in the week, Obama reacted to an announcement from Bank of America that it would charge its customers a $5 monthly debit card fee by saying that businesses “don’t have some inherent right to just, you know, get a certain amount of profit,” ABA.com reports.
On Thursday, Obama retracted and said he was “trying to make a broader point."
People have been using financial regulation as an excuse to charge consumers more, according to Obama.
“I mean, basically the argument they’ve made is well, you know what, this hidden fee was prohibited and so we’ll find another fee to make up for it,” Obama said, according to ABA.com. “Now, that have that right, but it’s not a good practice.”
Obama said that it is appropriate for the government to have an oversight role to make sure that consumers are protected and encouraged Congress to become more involved in the new bank fees.
“I think that Congress could make determinations with respect to whether or not a cerain practice was fair or not,” Obama said, ABA.com reports.
Obama also urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to prohibit banks from imposing certain fees.
“And my main goal is to make sure that we’ve got a consumer watchdog in place who is letting consumers know what fair practices are, making sure that transactions are transparent and making sure that banks have to compete for customers based on the quality of their service and good prices,” Obama said, ABA.com reports.