Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bank of America Strikes Again: Explores New Fees

Bank Of America's retreat from a proposed $5-a-month debit card fee after angry customer feedback doesn't mean the bank isn't thinking up new ways to charge account holders more money, according to a report in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal.

The bank is searching for new sources of income after a revenue drop of 22 percent since 2009 and is weighing a new fee structure that would charge some account holders as much as $25 a month. The new plan is already being tested in pilot programs in Georgia, Massachusetts and Arizona, according to the paper.

An "Essentials" account would come with a monthly charge of $6 to $9, the Journal explains, with other plans carrying monthly charges that start at $9 and climb to as high as $25. Customers who maintain a minimum balance, use a Bank of America credit card or take out a mortgage with the bank, however, could avoid some or all of the extra fees.
The restructured fee plan would ensure that customers generate revenue for the company because they would be required to use the bank's services more in order to avoid the new fees. Other banks are also reportedly rolling out similar fees, including J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
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