Some low-income bankers could be charged a fee for not having enough money, as Bank of America is requiring some customers to keep more money in their bank accounts, the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the WSJ report, those who use the eBanking service must keep at least $1,500 in their account, or have a direct deposit of $250. Those unable to meet the account's minimum standard will be charged $12 a month.
The changes went into effect last week.
The accounts are reportedly expensive for banks to maintain, even though they do profit off overdraft charges.
“For anyone who chooses us as their primary bank relationship, with a direct deposit of just $250 [per] month or $3,000 [per] year, they’ll get full access to all of our financial centers, ATMs, mobile and online banking,” a Bank of America spokeswoman told the WSJ. “That’s a great value and our client satisfaction scores are at all-time highs.”
But at least 45,000 people disagree.
A petition asking Bank of America to reconsider its position has garnered 45,000 online signatures.
"Many low income families do not meet these requirements," Mel San, who created the petition, wrote. "There have been times where I've only had $10 to my name. That wouldn't even cover the maintenance fee."
Bank of America offers a checking account for $4.95 a month that it says is geared for low-income bankers. The account does not allow customers to overdraft, nor does it allow customers to write paper checks. But the account comes without a minimum direct deposit or balance.