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Capitalizing on consumer outrage over a $5 monthly debit card fee Bank of America Corp. plans to impose, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is urging smaller banks to seize the competitive opportunity and go after unhappy BofA customers while suggesting the issuer would prefer its customers use credit cards instead.
On The Attack
Durbin announced during an Oct. 4 press conference that BofAs goal in imposing the new fee is to make debit cards more expensive for consumers because of a Federal Reserve Board rule that went into effect Oct. 1. The rule caps the debit-interchange rate for large banks at 21 cents per transaction plus a few cents to cover fraud and other costs. Previously, debit interchange for large banks averaged about 44 cents per transaction, he noted.