Bank of America Abandons Plan to Charge $5 Debit Card Fee

From the LA Times:

Bowing to a national flood of protests, Bank of America Corp. is calling off its plan to charge customers $5 a month for using its debit cards to make purchases — a strategy that proved a public relations disaster for what once was America’s biggest bank.

Analysts had believed the rest of the banking industry would follow BofA in imposing similar fees to make up for new rules restricting the fees banks charge merchants for accepting debit cards.

But instead, the Charlotte, N.C., banking giant finds itself following the lead of a host of rivals who decided last week not to incur the wrath of the American public with debit-card fees.

Bank of America lost its No. 1 ranking in asset size to JPMorgan Chase & Co. at the end of September, though it still has the most total deposits. It announced its decision on the debit fee Tuesday morning in a two-paragraph statement citing “customer concerns and the changing competitive marketplace.”