Bank of America Retreats

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 11:37am by

Bank of America blinked on Tuesday. The bank, the nation’s second-largest, said it was abandoning its plan to charge customers a $5 fee to use their debit cards for purchases. Only a month earlier, the bank had announced the new charge, immediately setting off a huge uproar from consumers.

Despite an outpouring of complaints online and at branch offices, the bank had remained steadfast in its plans until last Friday, according to a person briefed on the situation, planning to ease just some of the conditions for avoiding the fee. But over the weekend, after two major competitors b Wells Fargo and the nation’s largest bank, JPMorgan Chase b said they were backing away from their plans to levy similar charges, two high-ranking Bank of America officers recommended to Brian Moynihan, the bank’s chief executive, that the bank simply drop the fee.

Then, on Monday morning, when SunTrust, a regional bank in Atlanta, said that it, too, would abandon its $5 charge, Bank of America was left standing alone, the last major bank planning the fee. The announcement came on Tuesday. Continue reading…