Democratic Lawmakers Seek Antitrust Probe of Bank of America’s Debit Card Fees

Democratic lawmakers have asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Bank of America and other major banks improperly worked together to charge customers new monthly fees for using their debit cards. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., and four other Democrats said recently that they asked Attorney General Eric Holder to see if big banks violated antitrust laws before announcing the fees.  Welch said the lawmakers have no evidence of collusion.  However, the timing of the fees and the statements made by some of the banks raise questions of coordination and merits further investigation.  Bank of America announced that it would charge its customers $5 per month if they use their debit cards for purchases. Customers who use their cards only at ATMs will not have to pay the fee. Chase and Wells Fargo are also testing $3 monthly debit-card fees in select markets. The fees have sparked public outrage and helped fuel anti-Wall Street protests. Many have criticized the banks for charging to use debit cards after those same banks received hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded bailouts. Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo were among the recepients of rescue funds.   Bank of America will begin charging the fee early next year.  Chase and Wells Fargo haven’t said when they will make a final decision on whether to roll-out the debit card fee more broadly.  The attorneys at Balkan & Patterson, LLP are experienced in class action litigation and will act to protect consumers against corporate wrongdoers. If you believe you have potential for a class action, please contact us immediately and we will review your case at no charge.

The law firm of Balkan & Patterson, LLP was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, at 601 S. Federal Highway, Suite 302, with offices in Broward County. Mr. Balkan and Mr. Patterson can be contacted at (561) 750-9191. Additional information about Balkan & Patterson, LLP may be obtained from the firm’s website at

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