Big Banks Decide Against Debit Card Fees

Chase, Citigroup not following Bank of America's lead

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 28, 2011 6:26 AM CDT

(Newser) – It looks like many of the big banks are backing down from threats to raise debit card fees, reports the Wall Street Journal. After Bank of America was pounded over its decision to slap debit card users with a $5 monthly fee, JP Morgan Chase, US Bancorp, Citigroup, PNC Financial Services Group, and KeyCorp have all said they will not be adding such fees—though they say it's not a reaction to the Bank of America mess. "We looked at all options and quickly decided it didn't fit with our overall strategy," says a spokesman for KeyCorp.

Chase, which has been testing a $3 monthly fee in Wisconsin and Georgia, will end the practice next month. But Wells Fargo is currently running a test in five states, and SunTrust and Regions Financial are joining Bank of America with a monthly fee—a move that other banks hope will drive new customers their way. "It's not about the money. It's about 'are you kidding me?'" says one US Bancorp customer who said she would have "immediately" left left the bank if it instituted a fee—but now won't have to.

In this Jan. 31, 2011 photo, Bank of America customers use ATMs in New York.
In this Jan. 31, 2011 photo, Bank of America customers use ATMs in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Lists the 10 largest U.S. banks by debit card transaction volume
Lists the 10 largest U.S. banks by debit card transaction volume   (AP)
In this July 12, 2011 photo, JP Morgan Chase and Company sign at its Manhattan headquarters, New York, is shown.
In this July 12, 2011 photo, JP Morgan Chase and Company sign at its Manhattan headquarters, New York, is shown.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
This Oct. 12, 2011 photo, shows the J.P. Morgan Chase logo at the base of one of the bank's larger Lower Manhattan buildings in New York.
This Oct. 12, 2011 photo, shows the J.P. Morgan Chase logo at the base of one of the bank's larger Lower Manhattan buildings in New York.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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