Bank of America to End Overdraft Fees


Bank of America Corp. (Stock Quote: BAC) has heard you loud and clear. It has plans to end overdraft fees on debit card transactions that go over your available balance. Once the change takes effect (June 19th for new accounts, early August for accounts already open), any debit card transaction that goes above your available balance will simply be declined. No more hell borne $35 overdraft fees. No more grifter bank.

This reporter spent part of his morning listening to a Bank of America teleconference with the press. Those on the conference call heard from Susan Faulkner, Deposits and Card Product Executive for the bank.

She spoke of many laborious months of testing and research that went into this decision. You could have hired me as a consultant, Ms. Faulkner. I would have told you in about 30 seconds that customers don’t like getting slammed with unexpected $35 fees, on top of learning that they are broke. Oh, and they do like transparency. Mission accomplished: $10,000 consulting fee, please.

The decision was about “investing in our customers, bringing them control, choice and clarity,” Faulkner explained on the teleconference. Anyone else think “clarity” is Bank of America’s PR buzz word of the week?

Still, I’m glad the bank has finally listened to an outraged and fee wary – albeit fiscally adolescent – public (we think it’s inexcusable when people don’t know how much money they have in the bank). Faulkner explained that this is the next step in the bank’s commitment to clarity… First came the home loans clarity statement, and then their credit card business worked to bring clarity and greater understanding to the relationship with the customer… And now the bank is bringing clarity to the depositor relationship. Is everyone clear on that?

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