Petition against Bank of America debit card fee goes viral

The Takeaway

Story by The Takeaway. Listen to audio above for full report.

Bank of America provoked considerable outrage when it announced its plan to charge a monthly $5 fee to customers who use their debit cards.

One customer — or should we say, former customer — is turning her outrage into action. Molly Katchpole, 22, closed her accounts and moved to a community bank. At the same time, she launched an online petition on To say it’s drawing a bit of interest would be an understatement.

“I tried to get it out on Twitter and Facebook and within a few days it had thousands of signatures,” Katchpole said.

As of Friday morning it had nearly 224,000 signatures.

Katchpole said the reason the petition is so important is because not everyone is able to change banks as easily as she can. And the process can be quite daunting.

“I thought it would be good to attack this in several concrete ways,” she said.

In addition to signing the petition or changing banks, Katchpole wants customers to write letters and call the bank to let them know they’re upset.

A spokesperson for Bank of America said in a statement that the bank considered implementing this fee in 2010, but stopped it because of confusion from customers.

“We had a lot of questions from customers. We’re doing our best to answer all of them,” the statement said.

But for Katchpole, that’s not a good enough answer.

“They can explain it as much as they like, but people aren’t going to stop being upset about (the fee),” she said.


“The Takeaway” is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what’s ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.

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