Bank of America eliminating free checking accounts

26 January, 2018, 03:03 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • Bank of America eliminating free checking accounts

Should Bank of America - and the country's other big consumer lenders - be offering no-fee checking options to those with low, or no, account balances?

All customers with eBanking accounts have been transitioned to Core Checking, which comes with a $12 monthly fee.

Bank of America hasn't offered the eBanking account to new customers in almost five years, but customer who were grandfathered in to the program were not required to keep a minimum balance so long as they received their monthly statement online and used automated teller machines for withdrawals and deposits. Students and customers in a rewards program are also exempt. As Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, put it to investors and analysts, the bank is looking to do business with customers with high credit scores, preferably 760 and higher.

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The two entities are out to boost the fees many low-income people pay for using personal and government-backed drafts, including benefit checks. The last group was notified in October and moved over on Friday.

Many have left comments on the petition, threatening to boycott the bank as a result of the change.

"Bank of America was known to care for both their high income and low income customers".

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"I am in the process of switching banks because of this", another petition signer said. "Banking should be about helping the customer - not helping support old bank branches". One called it an unnecessary burden on the poor. The bank introduced the account in 2010, at a time when expected new federal regulations were predicted to limit many fees the industry had been charging.

This lack of banking options forces the un-banked to use other financial services, including currency exchanges - a business that's poised to get a very nice raise from the Rauner administration. Citi (C)'s Access account charges $10 a month, and customers can avoid the fee by making a qualifying direct deposit or bill payment per period, or keeping at least $1,500 in certain linked accounts.

That means at $12 monthly fee if you don't maintain a daily balance of at least $1500 or have a monthly direct deposit of at least $250.

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