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Lawmakers seek Probe on Banks' new Debit Card Fees

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Members of Congress are asking the Justice Department to investigate whether Bank of America and other major banks improperly worked together to charge customers new monthly fees for using their debit cards.

Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., and four other Democrats said Thursday that they've asked Attorney General Eric Holder to open a probe into possible collusion by the banks.

Welch said the lawmakers had no evidence of collusion. But he said the timing of the fees merit an investigation.

"You don't have a competitive marketplace," Welch said at a news conference.

Bank of America said last month that it would charge its customers $5 a month if they use their debit cards for purchases. Customers who use their cards only at ATMs will not have to pay the fee.


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Republicans: Repeal rule that spurred bank fees

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- House Republicans say there's a solution for the debit card fees from Bank of America and others that are ticking off customers: repeal the new regulation that the banks blame for needing the fees.

Several Republicans announced Wednesday that will again try to get rid of the provision in the Wall Street reform law that blocked big banks from charging retailers more than 24 cents for processing a swiped debit card. That was a reduction from the previous average of 40 cents.

Banks said the reduced fees from retailers forced them to get funds from somebody else -- in this case, consumers.

Democrats, who pushed the reduced swipe fee when they controlled both houses of Congress last year, have their own solution: on Thursday, they asked the Justice Department to investigate banks for antitrust violations.


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