A Bank of America executive has responded to a woman who started an online petition to protest the bank's new debit card fee.
Andrew Plepler, who has the long double-barreled title of global corporate social responsibility executive and consumer policy executive at Bank of America, earlier this week called Molly Katchpole, a 22-year-old Bank of America customer, who started the petition on Change.org, a do-it-yourself petitions website.
According to the website, Plepler told Katchpole that the bank understands the people who signed her petition are "very frustrated," that it would be "premature" to say whether the fee might be reversed and that the bank constantly listens to customer feedback.
Plepler is in charge of BofA's philanthropic grants, community development lending and investing goals, Community Reinvestment Act compliance, associate volunteer programs, partnerships with nonprofit organizations, arts and culture programming, and environmental initiative, according to a biography published by American Banker, a banking industry news organization. He is also responsible for interfacing with consumer and community groups and representing the bank's positions on consumer issues.
Katchpole is struggling financially and doesn't want to pay to use her debit card, according to a Change.org statement.
"I can barely afford to make ends meet," Katchpole said in the statement. "Now I'm expected to hand over money to Bank of America each month just for using my own debit card?"
For the record, any money in Katchpole's bank account belongs to her, but the debit card is a bank product, not a personal possession.
The $5 monthly debit card fee is waived for Bank of America customers who have a substantial bank balance or utilize other bank products and services. Other large banks have also introduced monthly debit card fees on a trial basis in some states.
The media campaign to promote Katchpole's petition, which has collected more than 200,000 signatures, is being organized by Change.org.
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