Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan defended his bank’s controversial new $5 debit card fee in a CNBC interview yesterday, saying that most customers would avoid it, and that the bank had given customers plenty of warning about it. Asked to respond to President Obama’s statement that banks don’t have “an inherent right to a certain amount of profit,” Moynihan replied that “I have an inherent duty as a CEO … to get a return for my shareholders."
He said that once BofA talks to customers and shareholders “they’ll understand what we’re doing—understand we have a right to make a profit." Moynihan also said that the Dodd-Frank Act cost the bank “billions." But he expressed support for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and refused to be drawn into an explicitly political discussion—despite the best efforts of host Larry Kudlow, who said Obama’s comments seemed “right out of some central planning, Soviet style anthem."