For Brian Moynihan and Bank of America, there is much to celebrate about the Trump tax heist. There’s the $2.7 billion it expects to save on its tax bill. There’s the fact that, unlike some of its peers, the $2.9 billion charge it took last year—and the $292 million it lost on a certain mattress company—didn’t push it into the red for 2017. There are 145,000 happy employees spending a thousand extra dollars right now “in the spirit of shared success,” which will also have the bank’s shareholders splitting the bulk of the tax savings going forward.
Not participating in the spirit of shared success? That would be BofA’s customers. Specifically, the remaining users of the bank’s eBanking free checking accounts, which in spite of the enormous pile of money being showered over Charlotte and the fact that no one’s been able to open a new one in five years, the bank can apparently no longer afford.
This month, all remaining eBanking customers with the Charlotte, N.C., lender were switched into accounts that charge a $12 monthly fee unless the customer has a direct deposit of $250 or more or a minimum daily balance of $1,500.
Given the increased profitability that BofA’s consumer bank has enjoyed through Moynihan’s slashing of available products and branches in the sticks, perhaps it could have allowed the grandfathered-in eBanking customers, many of whom are poor, to keep their free checking, especially since at least some of them live in places that BofA no longer bothers to grace with a branch, which they’re now paying $12 a month for the privilege of using. But BriMo & co. have instead read between the lines of the Robin-Hood-in-reverse tax plan and abided by the spirit that animates it.