Justice Dept. Investigating Banks For Potential Antitrust Violations Tied To Debit Card Fees

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating several big banks for potential antitrust violations tied to their efforts to raise debit card fees earlier this year, the Hill reported today. Outrage directed at Bank of America’s proposed $5-a-month debit card charge led it and other banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, to drop plans for such fees. In a response to Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich confirmed that DOJ is investigating the banks. “The Department of Justice is reviewing the statements and actions by banks and their trade associations regarding possible increases in consumer fees for using debit cards,” Weich wrote. “Please be assured that if it finds that individuals, banks or other parties may have violated antitrust laws, the department will take appropriate action.”