Tim Geithner joined President Obama in railing against Bank of America last night on CNN, promising that the White House will get tougher in the fight against new fees. The Obama administration is "going to push back harder,” said the Treasury secretary, who noted that the $5 monthly debit card fee is only the latest in a series of affronts. "And in the end, we are going to prevail because what we are doing is a reasonable, sensible thing, which is to make sure the American economy is never again vulnerable to this degree of basic abuse, mistakes, excessive risk taking."
"The banks are blaming the reforms and the government for everything, including lots of problems that they themselves were central to causing," he continued. But "there are no surprises, nothing strange about the fact that banks are resisting" reforms approved in the Dodd-Frank bill last year, he noted. "They are trying to weaken those reforms." One such reform, which limits banks to charging merchants 21 cents rather than the average 44 cents for debit card transactions, went into effect Oct. 1 and prompted the new $5 fee, Politico notes.