Dems Target BofA on Debit Card Fees

New bill would help bank customers move money
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2011 5:05 PM CDT
US Senator Dick Durbin is mounting legislation that would let bank customers easily swap their accounts to another bank.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(Newser) – Two Democrats in Congress are planning to strike back at Bank of America with a direct hit to the wallet, the Huffington Post reports. With BofA instituting a $5 monthly debit card fee to many consumers, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and Rep. Brad Miller are mounting legislation that would help consumers easily switch banks by making it easier to swap electronic bills, direct deposit, and other automated features. Durbin is also urging people to simply stop using BofA's debit cards.

But banking coalition says it's "astounding that Senator Durbin, who created today’s chaos, is now trying to point the finger at everyone but himself." The banks blame Durbin's "swipe fee reform" for limiting fees that banks can charge merchants on debit card transactions; naturally, they say, BofA is now putting the charge on consumers. But Miller, inspired by HuffPo's Move Your Money Campaign, says he sees his bill as pro-free market: “If we can find a way to introduce real competition into banking, that'd do more than any regulation."

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