A failed attempt to stall the debit card swipe fee rules has led to one bank’s CEO to call for an industry-wide change.

BB&T (NYSE: BBT) customers may soon encounter a new fee for using their debit cards.

U.S. banks should begin imposing annual fees for customers who use their debit cards, said BB&T Corp CEO Kelly King during the company’s Q2 2011 earnings conference call last Thursday.

If a customer wants to use their debit cards to make a purchase, there should be an annual fee – found with many credit cards – of roughly $25, King says.

Banks across the country are going to experience a dent in their revenues as the Durbin Amendment of the Doff-Frank Financial Reform Act cuts the fees that banks earn on debit card transactions. Slated to take effect on October 1, the rule will cap debit card interchange fees at 21 to 24 cents per transaction, down from the current 44-cent average.

In April, BB&T stopped offering its Free Checking account and replaced it with a checking account that would charge a $10 monthly fee unless fee waiver requirements were met. But, BB&T does not currently charge a fee for using a debit card.

One large bank that has instituted a debit card fee is SunTrust Bank. After also dropping its free checking account, SunTrust’s new basic checking account will charge a $5 fee for every month during which a debit card is used on signature, PIN point-of-sale, and recurring check card transaction. ATM transactions did not count as they are not affected by debit fee rules.

Although King did not confirm that an annual debit card fee was coming, the statement by King serves as a likely prediction of what BB&T checking customers will see in the near future. The annual fee may come as a yearly charge or a monthly fee.

If more U.S. banks adopt this fee, it will be one more strike against them in the eyes of consumers.

Did you enjoy this article? Yes No
Oops! What was wrong? Please let us know.

Ask a Question

  • Ba2988

    This is what happens when you allow Wal-Mart to dictate financial regulations to politicians (Durbin amendment). This legislation greatly reduces the revenue that banks receive from Visa/Mastercard.  Banks have to make up the revenue and that means increasing/adding fees to account holders.

    • Conviktd

      Exactly.

  • Anonymous

    The new limit on debit card interchange fee is primarily a huge win for merchants. Consumers, on the other hand, will end up being net losers, as card issuers will inevitably begin making up for their interchange-related losses by generating additional revenues by charging higher fees elsewhere.  Well, they are already doing it.  http://blog.unibulmerchantservices.com/debit-card-fee-limit-lifted-to-24-cents-consumers-will-still-pay-for-it

  • ScumTrust

    Well isn’t that fantastic!? WE, the consumers, build up these banks, WE provide them their salaries, their revenues, they need US in order to run their business, because without US, there would be no THEM.  I think they fail to realize that.  Now that want to turn us around, bend us over, and financially rape us? Get real, you DO NOT BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU.  There are plenty of other local banks that won’t gouge its customers. Big banks can suck my………

  • blingzy

    Jeez- I thought Durbin was a liberal commie looking-out-for-the-common-man kinda guy. Guess not. instead he’s foisting a new “tax” on the common man. Way to go Durbin. You Land o Lincoln Democrats should be ashamed you’ve subsidized this lazy lifer politician for so many years.

  • the NC man

    If you use BBT… BE WARY OF ‘THE PULSE FEE’ This is a program I never signed up for, and who would? I have been charged (in the middle of the month when you will most likely over look it on your statement) $2.95 per month. For What? Looks like I am taking my business someplace else. If you bank with them, Check your statement for this fee. Many customers are furious as this was just added and customers enrolled without being notified. Good luck getting it removed.