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Bank of America Nixes Debit Fee, but Tens of Thousands To Leave Anyway

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Bank of America may have avoided a mass exodus by killing that $5 debit card fee in its crib, but a separate customer flight, in response to the bank bailouts, is scheduled for this weekend.

November 5 has been designated the Make Wall Street Pay day of action, with tens of thousands of customers already pledging to close not only their Bank of America accounts but any held with one of the big banks, and to move their money into credit unions and community banks.

As of today, 25,575 Bank of America clients, 13,233 from Chase, 3,509 from Citi, and 18,539 other big bank account holders have pledged to transfer their funds. Across the country and even the globe, a total of 236 demonstrations are planned where protesters will picket corporate headquarters, local branches, and town plazas.

One such organization involved in the movement, Showdown in America, has assembled a list of demands for Wall Street banks:
  • Donate their bonuses to fix state budget crises, create jobs and keep hundreds of families in their homes;
  • Proactively modify at-risk mortgages including principal reduction;
  • Stop financing payday loans and other predatory products;
  • Stop targeting African-American, Latinos, and other people of color with the worst quality loan products and highest fees;
  • Extend quality credit to low and moderate income communities;
  • Start making quality loans again to small businesses to spur job creation;
  • Start low-interest small dollar loan programs with affordable terms and make them a standard practice;
  • Commit to green and sustainable practices;
  • Stop lobbying against common sense financial reforms that will help everyday people;
  • Stop bankrupting our States and local governments with unfair and sky-high interest payment obligations;
  • Provide true whistleblower protections for bank workers who expose criminal or exploitative bank practices;
  • Develop programs to turn over bank-owned properties to the community.

Of course, credit unions aren't always blameless when it comes to fraudulent loans, so they'll need to pick wisely. And if they're still worried about the debit fees, they should keep in mind that smaller banks can sometimes come with bigger fees, as Minyanville's Sara Churchville points out in Time to Switch to a Credit Union?

(See also: Credit Unions See New Business in Anti-Wall Street Angst)
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.