This week, the chorus of cries against bank fees added a few members you may know.
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin published an open letter to Bank of America CEO, Brian Moynihan, disputing the bank's claims that new restrictions on debit swipe fees will not allow BofA to continue to reap profits. Consider this except from Durbin's letter:
Your bank has decided to impose a significant new fee on loyal customers who simply want to access their own deposited money through a card that your bank gave them and encouraged them to rely on. I challenge you to provide specific and credible data that justifies imposing this monthly card fee. If you cannot provide such data, I challenge you to do the right thing for your customers and reconsider your decision. Based on the data I have seen, your decision to charge this new fee cannot be justified by any reasonable measure.
Of course, Sen. Durbin has a big incentive to make his voice loud and clear: Banks are blaming legislation with his name attached to it as the reason for the new fees. I'm an Illinois resident, and I'm sure Sen. Durbin doesn't want me to associate the new $5 fee that shows up on my monthly statement with his work.
Durbin wasn't alone in blasting Bank of America. Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, echoed the Illinois Senator in a recent conversation with CNN's Erin Burnett about bank resistance to financial reform. His comments sound more like a country heading to war than a member of the federal government bickering with banking executives.
We are going to push back harder. And in the end, we are going to prevail because what we are doing is a reasonable, sensible thing.
It's good to see elected officials contributing their voices to this discussion and standing up for consumers. However, we've been hearing the Wall Street vs. Main Street debate for quite some time now without an overwhelming amount of results for those members of Main Street.
I'm anxious to see what the plan is to "prevail." This is a sticky situation for members of Congress. All of them want to score points in voters' books, but they also know that more meddling in the private sector can hurt them in the polls, too.
What do you think? Are you hoping the government will step in to help control banking fees? Or should everyday consumers take matters into their own hands and find new places to stash their cash?