(JPM) JPMorgan Chase & Co Ends Trial Fees

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) has decided to withdraw its other bank fees related to checking accounts in addition to debit card usage fee. The news should spread cheer among customers as these charges were not part of the company’s regular fee structure.

Over the last 10 months, the company was imposing of these fees in various parts of the country to supposedly test their feasibility. The plan was to figure out alternatives to debit interchange fee that resulted in revenue loss.

This back step, by chance or choice, comes at a time when the other major U.S. lenders are silently imposing new fees on regular banking activities after the failure of their debit card fees plan.

Among the test runs, Chase will stop a $12 monthly checking account fee. This fee attack was targeted at new customers setting up basic checking accounts in Oklahoma.

The company will also discontinue a $15 monthly checking account fee that it was trialing in Atlanta.

Moreover, at the end of October, Chase announced that it would scrap the $3 debit card usage fee that it had imposed on northern Wisconsin customers on a trial basis. A hostile response from consumers and lawmakers nationwide compelled the bank to cancel this fee. This action finally urged other major banks including Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), Bank of America Corp. (BAC), SunTrust Banks Inc. (STI) and BB&T Corp. (BBT) to stop charging debit card usage fees.

Though Chase was conducting test runs, the decision to stop charging fees does not promise a refund to impacted customers. Going forward, the company will offer few waivers on its basic checking accounts. The $12 fee on basic checking account will be waived off if a customer makes minimum direct deposits of $500 and maintains a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or a minimum average daily balance of $5,000.

In Conclusion

When the big U.S. banks are trying to recover lost revenues by shifting costs to customers, we appreciate this sudden move by Chase to stop charging its account holders over and above. Or does it signal new and unforeseen moves by the bank?

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