| February 17, 2011

Bank of America adds new fees to consumer accounts

In recent months, a number of banks have introduced new fees on services in an attempt to recoup revenue lost by recent regulatory actions by the federal government.

This week, Bank of America announced it would add a new $59 annual fee to select account holders. This charge will be assessed on May statements and affect about 5 percent of the company’s customers.

The fee will not be added to specific customer accounts, but rather to any cardholders who has a lower-than-average FICO score, or makes regular late payments to Bank of America, The Associated Press reports. Under the Credit CARD Act, companies must now give customers 45 days notice of such changes.

Betty Riess, a company spokesperson, said the provision will only affect customers with limited involvement at the bank, or who are currently paying lower interest rates than would be provided if they applied today, the news source says.

This change would likely affect many low-income consumers who have experienced credit troubles due to the recent recession and who are currently unemployed or underemployed. As a result, these consumers may incur more credit card debt because of their current financial situation.

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