Molly Katchpole, the 22-year-old Bank of America customer who organized a grassroots campaign against the new $5 debit card fee, delivered more than 153,000 petitions to a bank branch in D.C. today. Katchpole closed her accounts, cut up her debit and credit card on the sidewalk, and left with $400 cash she says she intends to deposit in a credit union.
“Five dollars might not seem like a lot of money to the people who made the decision, but to thousands of people right now an extra $60 a year to a company they just bailed out with their tax money is not ok,” she said.
Bank of America President Brian Moynihan told ABC News on Wednesday that the fee “is meant to provide great service” and that customers with a balance greater than $5000 will be exempt. Katchpole called the explanation unacceptable: “The actual reasons don’t matter to a lot of Americans. What they’re seeing is a company that doesn’t pay any federal income tax asking for more money to go to a feature that people have been using for free.”
Asked by ABC News if she was able to meet the $5000 threshold to be exempt from the fee, she said, “Helll no. No, I’m not. Absolutely not. How many people are right now? And even if I was, I would probably move [my account] anyway. I’d probably leave the bank, and a lot of people are doing that.”
What was the bank’s response to her delivery? “They didn’t have much reaction to it,” she said after meeting with a banker for about 10 minutes. ”I asked if they could pass it off to their higher up and they said ok.”