Brad Miller Pushing Ahead With Reforms After Bank Of America Changes Debit Card Fee Rules
Bank of America is reportedly scaling back its plans to charge a $5 debit card fee to its customers, but Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) is still pushing legislation that would make it easier for customers to switch banks.
"This is great news, but I'm not going to hang a 'Mission Accomplished' banner," Miller said in a statement to The Huffington Post, in response to the news that BofA is reducing the number of customers affected by the new debit card fee. "The very fact the banks just up and announced the fees shows we need real competition in consumer banking."
Miller said that his reform was inspired by The Huffington Post's Move Your Money campaign.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) encouraged customers to leave Bank of America, and move their money to a bank that does not charge a debit card fee. The Chicago Tribune dubbed the charge the "Durbin fee," over his swipe-fee reform that capped the amount banks could charge in merchant transactions. Banks often used swipe fee reform to justify new debit card fees.
Bank of America, the second largest U.S. bank, reportedly will allow customers to avoid the $5 fee for using a debit card by maintaining minimum balances, having Bank of America credit cards or having paychecks direct deposited -- similar to the ways to avoid fees for checking accounts. Previously, the fee would have only not applied if you had $20,000 or more deposited in Bank of America accounts. Chase and Wells Fargo have announced that they will drop their debit card fees.
Molly Katchpole, a 22-year-old living in Washington, D.C. and working two part-time jobs, started a petition on Change.org over the proposed fee and collected over 300,000 signatures. She eventually got a call from a Bank of America executive after the petition hit over 200,000 signatures.
"I want Molly on my side on everything," said Miller.