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Cummings and Gomez Question Bank of America’s Decision to Terminate No-Fee Checking Accounts Right After Receiving Massive Tax Windfall

Jan 26, 2018
Press Release

Cummings and Gomez Question Bank of America’s

Decision to Terminate No-Fee Checking Accounts

Right After Receiving Massive Tax Windfall

 

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 26, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Committee Member Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) sent a letter requesting information about Bank of America’s decision to terminate consumer bank accounts that charge no monthly fees within just weeks of receiving one of the most massive financial windfalls in history as part of the Republican tax legislation enacted in December.

“It is difficult to understand why one of America’s largest banks would end a program that many low-income American families rely on just weeks after benefitting from one of the largest tax cuts in American history,” Cummings and Gomez wrote.  “Surely, your corporation could have devoted at least a fraction of these massive savings to maintaining existing programs that help low-income families move towards financial security and independence rather than forcing them to turn to alternative financial services providers.”

According to an assessment by Goldman Sachs, Bank of America reportedly stands to reap one of the largest windfalls—$3.5 billion in tax savings in 2018 alone—thanks to the passage of H.R. 1,  the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Within just weeks of this legislation becoming law, the Wall Street Journal reported on January 22, 2018, that “Bank of America Corp. has eliminated a free checking account popular with some lower-income customers, requiring them to keep more money at the bank to avoid a monthly fee.”  According to the article, these accounts “had no monthly fee so long as customers didn’t use a bank teller for routine transactions and agreed to receive their statements online.”

“We strongly urge you to reconsider your decision to end this program and instead consider the exact opposite approach—expanding your no-fee products and other programs to help low-income American families,” Cummings and Gomez wrote.  “One of the Republican talking points for the tax bill was that massive financial benefits would “trickle down” to the less fortunate among us, but we have seen just the opposite in this case.”

Cummings and Gomez requested that Bank of America provide documents and information relating to its decision, including the number of individuals enrolled in these accounts, the annual cost to Bank of America to provide these no-fee accounts, and the financial effects of the Republican tax bill on Bank of America’s revenues, expenditures, and profits.

Click here to read today’s letter. 

115th Congress