After Bank of America announced that they have dropped their planned $5 debit card fee, Sen. Bernie Sanders congratulated the American people on their victory.
Originally, Bank of America had planned to charge customers a $5 fee in any month they used their debit card. Since debit card usage has become a nearly universal and daily occurrence to most Americans, The B of A fee amounted to a $5 monthly charge for using your debit card. Sustained consumer outrage let to 300,000 people signing a petition, and 21,000 pledging to close the B of A checking accounts. The customer pressure worked, as Bank of America reversed course and dumped the planned fee.
After Bank of America retreated, Sen. Bernie Sanders took to the Senate floor to congratulate the American people.
Sen. Sanders said,
Let me tell you, the Bank of America like the other banks that were going to go forward in imposing these fees did not withdraw them because they were nice guys. They withdrew them because the American people said ‘enough is enough’ in terms of the greed of Wall Street. Let us never forget that it was the Bank of America and the other huge financial institutions on Wall Street who caused the recession that we are in resulting in millions of people losing their jobs, their homes, their life savings.
Let us never forget when Wall Street was on the verge of collapse it was the American people and the Fed who bailed them out, and now that Wall Street and the large banks are making very handsome profits paying their CEOs some of the largest compensation packages they have ever received their thank you to the American people was to charge them five dollars a month debit fee, but you know what happened? The American people said thanks, but no thanks.
It wasn’t the Senate that turned this around. It wasn’t the House that turned this around. It was the American people, and I want to applaud the people of the Occupy Wall Street campaign who focused attention on the greed of Wall Street, and the millions of other people who have said enough is enough. So today, I want to congratulate the American people. You did it. You took on the largest financial institution in the United States of America, and you beat them.
Whether it is the five dollar debit card fee from Bank of America, or Netflix reducing services and increasing fees, the arrogance of corporate America seems to know no limits. The people running these companies have been completely oblivious to the struggles of millions and millions of Americans. The Bank of America debit card fee was the height of ingratitude. There would have been no Bank of America if not for the taxpayers who rescued them from the debts of near ruin that had been caused by their own greed.
The American people have demonstrated that are willing to stand up and fight. No longer will customers grin and bear additional fees, price increases, or rate hikes. This isn’t just about Bank of America, or Netflix, or Redbox, this about the mood of the country. The American people defeated Bank of America today, and if they can beat B of A, they can defeat anyone.