| October 8, 2009

Bank of America to hold steady on rates, interest fees

Recently a major bank announced it would not increase certain rates and fees until 2010.

Bank of America promised its customers it would not increase rates or fees associated with credit card debt until new rules associated with the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act take effect in February of next year.

In a letter to Senate Banking Committee Chairman and Connecticut Democrat Chris Dodd, John Collingwood, director of the bank’s federal government relations, said the move was in response to customer concerns. Dodd, who helped craft the Credit CARD Act, said that other credit card companies should follow Bank of America’s lead on the issue.

"This Congress has made it clear that abusive credit card practices are no longer acceptable," Dodd said.

The bank’s effort comes after many consumers and lawmakers expressed concern over the fact that lenders have changed rates and fees in anticipation of the new rules from the Credit CARD Act. Some of the act’s new regulations took effect in August of this year, including giving customers 45 day’s notice on a change in fees or rates.

In contrast to Bank of America’s action, Wells Fargo announced it plans on raising interest rates by 3 percentage points prior to effective date of other rule changes.

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