Pedestrians walk past a Bank Of America branch in New York

Bank of America: The Evil Empire Strikes Back

Feb 28, 2011

With the Dodd-Frank bill neutering the ability of Bank of America to scam its customers on overdraft fees, everybody’s favorite bank has concocted a new revenue stream: monthly fees to avoid overdrafting.

bank of america Bank of America: The Evil Empire Strikes Back

The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law by President Obama, had many effects on the banking and investment industries.  One of the effects is that it significantly cut revenue streams created by often confusing and very silent overdraft and insufficient funds fees.

Banks now have to make up for the ill-gotten revenues by concocting other schemes.

As reported in Forbes, BofA is testing out a new fees program that they hope will allow them “to earn more revenues from its existing customer base by requiring them to use more products and services in order to avoid monthly fees. Under the new pilot program, Bank of America introduced four types of checking account.”

“Essentials” is the standard account with a monthly fee and a debit card, which means that the average American will have to pay for checking, effectively ending the era of “free checking.”  “e-Banking” removes the checking fee if customers accept e-statements, as well as deposits and withdrawals only online or at an ATM.  “Enhanced” will require at least a $2,000 balance at all times, otherwise the customer will be hit with a fine.  “Premium” requires a $20,000, which means you’re either a pimp paying straight cash or you’re a very lucky white-collar baller.

Perhaps Bank of America didn’t feel that it was being morally and ethically bankrupt enough after brokering a deal to sell the Blackwater mercenaries (now ‘Xe,’ owned by Muslim-hating, Christian Crusader Erik Prince), or their recent deployment of three intelligence firms to spy on WikiLeaks and Anonymous.

Underneath Bank of America’s new revenue machinations lies the fact that the bank will have legal fees and a settlement to pay relating to Countrywide Financial’s part in the sub-prime mortgage crimes, which precipitated the 2008 recession.  (Bank of America bought Countrywide Financial in 2008 for $4.1 billion.)

33 of the plaintiffs—various hedge fund and bonds investors—have rejected Bank of America’s $600 million settlement, according to the Los Angeles Times, and will not be showing up at court this Friday for final settlement approval.

However, BofA executives were still willing to buy Countrywide despite all these legal and financial problems, with then CEO Ken Lewis stating, “The ability to get that kind of size and scale became more appealing as we saw the business model change to a model we could accept. We considered the lawsuits, the negative publicity that Countrywide had. We weighed the short-term pain versus what we think will be a very good deal for our shareholders.”

BofA will come out of this smelling like a rose, more than likely.  The bank is even adding employees, according to Businessweek, while the rest of America suffers from their criminal behavior.

Which is why WikiLeaks should step up their efforts of dismantling these colossal assholes.

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