Facing growing criticism from consumers, Bank of America has decided to drop the $5 monthly fee it was planning to charge customers for use of their ATM cards.
The new monthly fee was announced in September and was to begin on January 2012. Several other large banks ran tests of monthly ATM fees and last week announced they would drop the charges. SunTrust has been charging customers a $5 monthly fee for use of their debit card since June, but announced last week they would also drop the monthly charge and reimburse customers who had incurred the fees.
Banks have been seeking new revenue streams due to declining profits related to a slow economy, and also in anticipation of new regulations which will decrease the amount banks can charge merchants for accepting debit cards, amongst other things.
Bank of America issued a short statement regarding the change of plans. In it, they said that the planned fee was being dropped because of “customer feedback and the changing competitive marketplace.” David Darnell, Bank of America’s co-chief operating officer said: “We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize their concern with our proposed debit usage fee. Our customers’ voices are most important to us. As a result, we are not currently charging the fee and will not be moving forward with any additional plans to do so.”