Bank of America Wants Customers to Pay for Financial Regulation

The bank plans to charge customers $5 a month to use their debit cards

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Bank of America isn't afraid of blaming Congress for their problems. On Thursday, the nation's largest lender confirmed rumors that they were going to start charging their debit card customers a monthly $5 fee for debit card services, and their spokesperson was not shy about tipping her hat to the post-financial crisis Dodd-Frank Act in the process. "The economics of offering a debit card have changed with recent regulations," said bank spokeswoman Anne Pace. "And we've decided to introduce a monthly fee for customers who use their debit cards for purchases." Bloomberg's report describes how the Dodd-Frank Act's cap on swipe fees is affecting Bank of America's bottom line:

The Fed capped debit-card swipe fees at 21 cents starting Oct. 1. It will let issuers tack on five basis points, or 0.05 percent, of each transaction, or almost 2 cents based on the average debit purchase of $38, and a conditional 1-cent adjustment for lenders that follow certain fraud-prevention standards.

The cap, mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, replaces a formula that averages 1.14 percent of the purchase price, or about 44 cents. The limit may reduce annual revenue at the biggest U.S. banks by $8 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg Government show. 

Of course, the multi-billion dollar costs of paying out settlements to victims of Bank of America's predatory lending practices during the financial crisis--one of the many bad behaviors that led to the passage of Dodd-Frank--certainly don't help either.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.