Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

Obama picks a fight with Bank of America over new debit card fees

by Patt Morrison

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A Bank of America ATM is seen on Sept. 29, 2011, in Los Angeles, California. Will you soon be paying more to use one of these? Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Monday, President Barack Obama lent his voice to the rising chorus of discontent over Bank of America’s newly announced $5 monthly debit card fee.

But the banking industry hasn’t taken the president’s criticism lightly — American Bankers Association president Frank Keating responded Tuesday, saying, “It’s disappointing and puzzling that the president would attack a private corporation for responding to government price fixing that has fundamentally altered the economics of offering a debit card.”

The “fixing” that Keating is referring to is the reform championed by Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin that capped the amount banks could charge retailers for debit card processing. Democrats have been waiting for President Obama to show some fire in light of the fast approaching election season.


Is the president starting yet another partisan war? Or is he standing up for the large number of people who use debit cards every day who feel they’re already paying a bevy of fees?


Phil Mattingly, Bloomberg News reporter

David Lazarus, business columnist at The Los Angeles Times

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