Updated 10/04/2011 05:28 PM
Customers, politicians speak out against BofA fees; site slow for 5th day
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CHARLOTTE -- Federal lawmakers are targeting Charlotte-based Bank of America for its latest revenue-generating idea.
Economic experts predicted the bank would receive a lot of heat over its planned debit card fee and vocal opposition is now starting to mount.
Beginning in January, everyday Bank of America customers will be charged a $5 monthly debit card free, adding up to $60 a year. A bank spokesperson says it's in response to new banking regulations that trimmed debit card revenue.
Molly Katchpole, a Washington, D.C., Bank of America customer started an online petition called Tell Bank of America: No $5 debit card fees. It's gotten more than 120,000 signatures so far.
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said Tuesday on Capitol Hill that the charges were unfair and urged customers to take their money and run. Around the same time, Rep. Brad Miller of North Carolina proposed a bill he says will give customers more freedom to leave banks that charge high fees without financial repercussions.
“Banks have been making enormous profits and they don't seem to be worried about losing business. If we get the market working properly those practices should change,” he said.
That wasn't the only bad news for the bank Tuesday. Problems continue to plague the bank's website; it's been slow or inaccessible since Friday.
Bank stock hit a two-year low, trading as low as $5.13, 65 percent below the year's high.
The good news: Billionaire investor Warren Buffet said he's not concerned about the bank's drop in stock value the past few days.