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Bank of America Limits Overdraft Fees, Offers Customers 'Opt Out'

Bank to Introduce Daily, Annual Limits to Help Customers Better Manage Their Accounts

Category:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 8:08 am EDT

Dateline:

CHARLOTTE, N.C.

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
BAC
"We want customers to have clarity and simplicity in everything they do with us"

Bank of America today announced several changes to its checking account options and services that will help customers avoid excessive overdraft fees and better manage their finances.

"We want customers to have clarity and simplicity in everything they do with us," said Brian T. Moynihan, president, Bank of America Consumer & Small Business Banking. "We started with the Clarity Commitment(®) in Home Loans. Last week, we announced a simplified credit card offering that includes an easy-to-understand Basic credit card. Today, we are announcing changes to the way customers can manage their day-to-day finances that will help those who need it most right now."

The bank has already increased its specialized efforts to work with those customers who are feeling the impacts of the current economic environment.

Additionally, beginning on October 19, the bank will:

  • Not charge Overdraft item fees when a customer's account is overdrawn by a total amount less than $10 for one day
  • Not charge overdraft fees on more than four items per day
  • Improve the process for customers to opt out of overdraft capability
  • Offer customers a Clarity Commitment(® )that spells out in clear, unambiguous terms what customers can expect from their deposit relationship with Bank of America

Effective June, 2010, the bank will:

  • Introduce an annual limit on the number of times customers can overdraw their accounts at the point-of-sale when they do not have sufficient funds to cover their transactions
  • Contact customers who are nearing the annual limit to provide education and tools to help them better manage their finances
  • Limit overdraft capability, and therefore fees, for customers who reach the annual limit
  • Provide new customers the choice to opt into overdraft capability at account opening

"Our immediate priority is those customers who excessively overdraw their accounts," said Susan Faulkner, Customer Segments & Deposits executive. "With these changes, we have increased customer choice in the area of overdrafts, limited daily overdraft fees, and significantly reduced fees for those customers who need help the most. We will also increase our proactive outreach to customers to help them better manage their finances and limit their overdraft ability, if necessary. Over time, we will build on this strategy to extend additional clarity and choice to services we offer."

Bank of America has a long history of helping customers manage their finances, including account management tools to help prevent fees, such as alerts and mobile banking, both of which are offered at no extra charge. In addition, the bank has helped more than 3 million customers so far this year through Customer Assistance and fee refunds.

  • The Customer Assistance Program offers customers who lost their jobs or are in hardship immediate fee relief, waiving the monthly account maintenance fee for three months and refunding fees for non-sufficient funds or overdrafts.
  • Mobile banking allows customers to receive e-alerts if their account balance becomes low. Since the launch of mobile banking in the spring of 2007, more than 3 million Bank of America customers have signed in to manage their personal finances "on the go."
  • Online banking is helping more than 29 million online banking customers track and manage their finances.

Bank of America also provides tools and resources to help customers manage their finances through an easy-to-navigate Web site at www.bankofamerica.com/learn. Aside from the changes outlined here, all other terms of Bank of America's Deposit Agreement and Disclosures and the Personal Schedule of Fees still apply.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 53 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 6,100 retail banking offices, nearly 18,500 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 29 million active users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to more than 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients in more than 150 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

www.bankofamerica.com

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Bank of America Corporation's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.