CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio) — Ever the supporter of public petitions, former Gov. Pat Quinn has added his voice to the growing criticism of Bank of America for ending its only free checking account option that doesn’t require a minimum balance.
This month, Bank of America began moving all its eBanking customers to standard accounts that require them to receive a direct deposit of $250 or more per month, or to keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500, or be hit with a $12 fee.
Quinn, a candidate for Illinois attorney general, called the fee unfair and artificial, especially coming years after a government bailout, and weeks after a major corporate tax break through the Trump administration’s tax plan.
“Bank of America, along with all the other big banks here on LaSalle Street, got a huge tax cut from Trump; a gigantic tax cut. So what do they do? Instead of helping their customers, what they do is they raise their fees,” he said.
Quinn said, as attorney general, he would tell Bank of America the new policy violates the community obligation in its state charter.
The Democrat urged people to sign a change.org petition demanding the bank to rescind the fee and reinstate free checking accounts. The petition has gathered more than 121,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.
“We want people to join up with us. I’ve already signed up,” Quinn said. “When people band together, not for profit, for a cause they believe in, that’s the strongest force on Earth.”
A Bank of America spokesperson said in addition to the minimum balance or monthly direct deposit, customers can avoid the fee if they are students under age 24.