Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Customers angry after Bank of America tightens free-checking rules

Davis Turner Davis Turner
Russell Knight | 23 January, 2018, 20:27

Bank of America will end free checking accounts that were popular among some lower-income customers.

Beginning this month, all eBanking customers will face a $12 monthly fee unless the customer has a direct deposit of $250 or more or a minimum balance of $1,500.

The bank offered a rebuttal: "For anyone who chooses us as their primary bank relationship, with a direct deposit of just $250 [per] month or $3,000 [per] year, they'll get full access to all of our financial centers, ATMs, mobile and online banking", a Bank of America spokeswoman told the Journal.

Critics have lashed out on Facebook and Twitter, with many saying the move hurts low-income people and that they planned to stop doing business with the bank in protest.

Angry customers are calling out Bank of America after it tightened the rules for free checking. But others are being switched to regular accounts. "This is what made Bank of America different", wrote Mel San, who launched the petition.

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Bank of America's decision to eliminate a free-checking account continues to anger many customers and others - and they're taking to social media to give the bank an earful.

Ms. Lo didn't expect to meet the new balance or direct-deposit minimums needed to avoid a fee because she is paid on commission through PayPal Holdings Inc., earning about $30,000 a year. The process of switching over Bank of America customers to this service began as early as 2015.

During a conference call with Wall Street analysts last week, Paul Donofrio, Bank of America's chief financial officer, said the USA banking industry has had little to no increases in deposit rates for traditional banking in recent years. But this was waived for customers who agreed to not use a teller and complete all routine transactions digitally. "That's a great value and our client satisfaction scores are at all-time highs".

The bank has been transferring eBanking customers to its "Core Checking" account.

MONEY also reached out to Bank of America but did not immediately receive a response.

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