The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement in response to Bank of America’s decision to impose new fees on debit card users.
“For years Bank of America and its big bank peers have been imposing hidden fees on all consumers, whether they used cash, plastic or even food stamps, said Katherine Lugar, executive vice president for public affairs. “Swipe fee reform will rein in these fees, increase transparency and allow consumers to see the costs associated with the various payment options and make decisions accordingly.”
According to data released from the Federal Reserve, Bank of America and its peers collect a profit of 1100 percent every time a debit card is swiped. These fees have exploded over the past decade and last year cost merchants nationwide nearly $20 billion. These fees result in higher costs for merchants and ultimately higher prices for consumers. However, even after reforms go into effect big banks like Bank of America will continue to collect more than 600 percent in profit on every transaction.
“Crying poverty and adding fees, all while collecting a 600 percent profit on every transaction is one heck of a public relations strategy,” said Lugar.
According to the Federal Reserve there are 14,821 banks in the United States not affected by debit swipe fee reform.
“Bank of America’s new fee is great news for every other bank in America. If Bank of America wants to charge account holders to access their own money, every other bank, particularly credit unions and community banks will welcome the flood of customers in search of a new bank,” added Lugar.
RILA is the trade association for retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and operate more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
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