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.
Charlotte-based bank this month completes a years-long
phaseout of its eBanking account, which
didn’t charge monthly maintenance fees if customers received
paperless statements and didn’t use bank tellers for routine
transactions. Bank of America has converted such customers to
another checking account that requires them to keep more money at
the bank to avoid fees that are higher.
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.
action caused me to close my last account with these weasels,” one
person wrote on Twitter.
BoA, do you want to keep your customers? Because there ARE other
options out there,” another tweeted.
per month for a checking account?” tweeted NPR “Morning Edition”
host Steve Inskeep. “Some math: If you have $1,000 in the account,
$12 is 1.2% of it—per month. Multiply by 12 months: people without
much money are charged an annual rate of 14.4% for the bank to
hold their money and process checks.”
in 2010, the eBanking account charged customers an $8.95
monthly fee if they received monthly statements in the mail and
used tellers instead of automated teller machines and online
banking. The accounts didn’t require a minimum balance, making it
attractive to people on fixed incomes.
bank has been transferring eBanking customers to its “Core
Checking” account. That account comes with a $12 monthly fee,
unless customers have a daily balance of at least $1,500 or at
least one direct deposit of $250 or more.
Bank of America spokeswoman has said the $250 monthly direct
deposit requirement, which equates to $3,000 a year, is one of the
lowest requirements in the industry.
spokeswoman also noted that Core Checking customers have full
access to all the bank’s branches, ATMs and mobile and online
banking services, and that customers have several ways to avoid
the $12 fee.
a look at some comments from Twitter users on the bank’s move: