ATM-focused BofA eBanking program ends amid protest
On Jan.19, Bank of America completed the final phaseout of its eBanking account, and at least 46,000 of the bank's customers and like-minded supporters are really not happy about it, according to a report by the Charlotte Observer.
BofA introduced eBanking in 2010 as a fee-free option for customers who did not maintain a minimum monthly balance. To waive the $8.95 fee, eBanking customers agreed to forgo a printed statement and use the bank's network of ATMs rather than tellers for their deposits and withdrawals.
Those customers have now been transferred to a BofA core checking account that costs them $12 monthly unless they carry a daily balance of $1,500 in the account or use direct deposit.
Bank of America spokeswoman Betty Riess told the Observer that the $250 monthly direct deposit minimum is one of the lowest in the industry.
That hasn't stopped a petition on Change.org from toting up more than 46,200 protestor signatures within three weeks. As one petitioner commented:
Low income families and seniors utilize this service specifically in order to make their few pennies stretch further," one petition-signer wrote in the comments section. Bank of America can well afford to provide these customers with free checking accounts and themselves with goodwill.
The report said that during a recent quarterly earnings call BofA Chief Financial Officer Paul Donofrio emphasized that the FI's most-desired customers are "prime" and "super prime" borrowers with credit scores of 760 or better.