I'm sure this has nothing whatsoever to do with Occupy Wall Street, nor does it have anything to do with Move Your Bank Day (Nov. 2). No, the thoughtful people who run these fine banking organizations have simply decided more monthly fees would be counterproductive at this time:
A month after Bank of America got pummeled by consumers and politicians for introducing plans for new debit-card fees, most other big U.S. banks are steering clear of imposing similar charges.
Following eight months of consumer testing, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has decided that it won't charge customers who use their debit cards to make purchases, according to a person familiar with the bank's plans. The New York bank's Chase retail unit is one of the largest U.S. consumer banks, with 26.5 million checking accounts and 5,300 branches.
J.P. Morgan joins U.S. Bancorp, Citigroup Inc., PNC Financial Services Group Inc., KeyCorp and other large banks that have said in recent days that they won't impose monthly fees on debit cards. None of those banks said they made their decisions because of the outcry over Bank of America's fees.
"We looked at all options and quickly decided it didn't fit with our overall strategy," said David Bowen, who runs the consumer-product business at Cleveland-based Key, which ranks among the 20 largest banks in the country.
Banks are loading fees onto customer accounts in an attempt to recover billions of dollars in revenue that will be lost from new restrictions on debit cards, credit cards and overdrafts. Most big banks have already eliminated free checking for customers who don't meet certain criteria on their accounts, such as minimum balances or a certain number of direct deposit transactions.