THE FIVE

Bank of America Backlash

Customers complaining, stock dropping, senators piling on?

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," October 4, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: So Bank of America is facing tremendous backlash over the decision to charge debit card users $5 a month to use their card. Customers are complaining, the stock keeps dropping, and even Senator Dick Durbin is saying find a new bank.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DICK DURBIN, D-ILL.: The Wall Street Journal published a story on Friday and they had one of their people that they invited in to comment. He said that this new bank fee that is being charged by Bank of America on debit cards is the "Durbin fee" -- the "Durbin fee." The same thing was said by the Chicago Tribune on Saturday.

Let me say at the outset, that I am honored to be associated with an effort to reduce costs to retailers and consumers across America. Bank of America customers, vote with your feet. Get the heck out of that bank.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: Congratulations, I guess, are in order for Senator Durbin to getting that amendment passed. Let me set this up for you quickly.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Good.

PERINO: Dodd-Frank was a bill that passed in 2010 and had to do with financial regulations. At the last minute one of the amendments put on and passed was the Durbin amendment, which retailers were complaining they had to pay this interchange fee. So every time you swipe a debit card, you have to pay. So the Durbin amendment said no longer.

Well, the banks getting squeezed, this weekend said well, someone has to pay for that. It's not fee. Now we have $5 for debit card users per month for Bank of America. Other banks are also making similar decisions.

The outrage is continuing, Greg.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Yes, it is. You thought Solyndra was exciting.

BECKEL: I want to agree with e-mails. This thing is so exciting.

GUTFELD: This is a really interesting lesson, because by cracking down on fees, who gets hurt the most? It's the person using the bank, not the bank. How else is a bank going to make money if not on fees? There is no way for banks to make money anymore. Have you been to a bank? There are two banks on every street in New York and no one is in them.

BECKEL: What a shame.

GUTFELD: I defend them. People work at banks, tellers and custodians.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: I use debit cards a lot because I gamble a lot. But they sneak more fees all the time.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: That's on you to watch the fees.

BECKEL: They sneak them in.

(CROSSTALK)

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: The point is when you add regulation and government gets involved in the free market, you add regulation -- I'm not listening -- the consumer gets hurt, not the retailer, because the retailer isn't getting nailed by this. It is going again, the banks can't raise retailer fee I charm retailers, so else do I go to? The Bobs of the world who use their debit card.

PERINO: There is a bigger question here.

GUTFELD: You are complaining about the actual consequence.

PERINO: I think this is a metaphor for something bigger, and President Obama actually addressed this yesterday. The bigger question, Andrea, I want your stake on it after we listen to his interview yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This is exactly why we need the consumer finance protection bureau we set up that is ready to go. And what we need is a confirmation of the person I appointed Richard Cordray, treasurer of Ohio. Back in Ohio, Republicans and Democrats think he's terrific and he's fair. But this is why we need somebody woes sole job it is to prevent this stuff from happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: So one of the things that President Obama went on to talk about was capping profits, in general, the words were basically that, you know, they'd like to make sure that the banks aren't making as much money. Then the banks are supposed to be lending more money. What are we supposed to make of this?

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: These are the unintended consequences of what happens when government gets involved. Dana, we have unprecedented amount of regulation, Sarbanes-Oxley. Spitzer was AG, a number of regulations. We had Dodd-Frank. It hasn't worked. You see them getting more and more involved.

PERINO: And it will get worse because the regulations being written after the Dodd-Frank bill passed, then you have to write regulations to make sure they're following -- they haven't even started.

TANTAROS: As Eric pointed out, it always ends up hurting consumer.

PERINO: It hurts low income people disproportionately, right, Bob?

BECKEL: Excuse me for a second. Thank you. First, these are banks we the taxpayers gave money to. They have more money than they could possibly use. They don't lend it because they're trying to do everything they can to shift and loan money --

BOLLING: That is not the point. That is not the point.

BECKEL: These banks should pay for it themselves. They can afford to pay it.

PERINO: Is that why Bank of America --

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: You ought to have more regulations on them. Can you trust these people?

BOLLING: Bob, if you regulate a bank and say they can't make more money here, it's a business, I look to make money elsewhere. It turns out the elsewhere is every middle class American walking down --

PERINO: Not only, that Eric.

BECKEL: Do you trust these people?

GUTFELD: They are people. They are people that go to a bank every day and work. They laid off 30,000 of them.

BECKEL: Do you trust Bank of America?

BOLLING: Yes.

BECKEL: Oh, gosh.

BOLLING: Trust what? What is trust?

BECKEL: That they will treat you fairly and not sneak fees out of you.

BOLLING: The amendment push the banks to asking the consumer --

BECKEL: Don't let them do it. Don't pass it on us. Make them eat it.

PERINO: This economics 101. There is no such thing as free lunch. Bank of America announced 30,000 people would lose their job.

BECKEL: How much money did we give Bank of America?

TANTAROS: How much did they pay back?

PERINO: It's not charity.

BECKEL: Public gave them the money, ours.

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