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Largest banks renege on debit card fees

Nov 06, 2011 Walt Wojoiechowski

A number of major U.S. banks have announced plans in recent months to introduce fees on debit cards and checking accounts. But now, in the face of widespread public displeasure, many of these institutions are rescinding those plans. The most notable of these moves comes from the country's largest bank, Bank of America, which announced on Tuesday it is retreating from its original plan to impose a $5-per-month fee on debit card use beginning next year. "We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize their concern with our proposed debit usage fee," said David Darnell, co-chief operating officer at Bank of America, according to The New York Times. "As a result, we are not currently charging the fee and will not be moving forward with any additional plans to do so." Similarly, SunTrust, Regions, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase all reported they are going to either stop charging such fees or drop tests of such charges. The attempts to impose debit card fees were in response to lost revenue stemming from the Durbin Amendment, which calls for a cap on the amount banks can charge retailers per debit card transaction.