Bank of America has scrapped its plan to charge most of its customers a $5 monthly debit-card fee, The Huffington Post reports. In the wake of the proposed plan, which would have affected most of its customers, the bank faced criticism from the public, including Santa Monica residents.
"We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize their concern with our proposed debit usage fee," Bank of America co-COO David Darnell said in a statement, according to The Huffington Post.
"Our customers' voices are most important to us," he continued. "As a result, we are not currently charging the fee and will not be moving forward with any additional plans to do so."
Previously, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan had defended the fee, saying the bank "has a right to make a profit." He cited recent Wall Street reforms as the motivating factor behind the fee.
On Oct. 13, roughly 150 people turned out to protest Bank of America outside one of its branch in Santa Monica. The protest was organized by MoveOn.org and was part of a weeklong nationwide action titled "Jobs Not Cuts!"
Protesters held signs and chanted that slogan. They also chanted, "We are the 99 percent," echoing sentiments expressed by the ongoing . Drivers who were in agreement honked their horns as they drove by.
Bank of America's plan also drew criticism in Washington, D.C., where legislators including Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Rep. Brad Miller (D-North Carolina) called on customers to move their money out of the bank in response to the new fee.
"My word to consumers across America is: 'Talk with your feet, look for a debit card that doesn't charge the Bank of America fee,' " Durbin told The Huffington Post.
President Barack Obama has also scolded BofA, telling ABC, "You can stop [the fee] if you say to the banks, ‘You don’t have some inherent right just to, you know, get a certain amount of profit if your customers are being mistreated.’ ”
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