Banks Colluded On ATM Fees, Lawsuit Claims

Last week a New Jersey man filed the third lawsuit challenging high ATM fees. This lawsuit accuses Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo of colluding with credit card companies to “fix” ATM fees. Another suit makes similar accusations against Visa and MasterCard and targets them as defendants. Each lawsuit is seeking class action status.

At the heart of the lawsuits is the practice of charging “foreign ATM transaction” fees. Those are fees customers pay when they use an ATM not operated by their bank. Those fees are often charged by both the operating bank and their own bank and can amount to up to $10 or more per transaction.

The lawsuits accuse Visa and MasterCard of forcing ATM operators to charge the same access fee to customers, regardless of which network they use, in order to get access to the Visa and MasterCard networks. This most recent suit alleges the banks worked with Visa and MasterCard to set those rates artificially high.

So far JPMorgan, Bank of America and Wells Fargo have not commented on the claims.

Banks and credit card companies have made a healthy profit nickel-and-diming the American public into near bankruptcy. And now that Americans have started to push back those banks have gotten even more aggressive, charging fees for maintaining a “low” balance, for example.  No matter how bad you think the banking industry is, they manage to act worse.

Normally, class action litigation would be the best route to change these abusive practices. But after the Wall-Mart v. Dukes decision, there’s reason to be concerned that these classes will not be certified. And without the potential for large class action damages award, there may be no real way to get these practices to change.

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Photo from tracy o via flickr.


Theresa G.
T G4 years ago

And after you move your money (that doesn't really exist) to local credit unions, etc. let's all start to RE-THINK ourselves out of the need for money - the matrix of the new earth that we've been moving into: no private ownership of anything! no individual being more important than another, no disease, no hunger, no one's effort being ridiculed by another, etc. etc. etc. Now...after reading did you feel? That will tell you how you are doing on a spiritual level - what you need to work on or have accomplished thus far. (And don't throw darts at the messenger; just delivering a message. :)

Cyndie Kalina
Cyndie Kalina4 years ago

Vote with your feet! Move your money to local bank and credit unions. These are the folks who will support small business in our communities. Make local banks and credit unions stronger with your support. Stop using debit cards and support your local business by using cash. Every credit or debit transaction costs the merchant a fee that goes to the bank. Let the merchants keep that $$. Use cash whenever possible.

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran4 years ago


amanda kauppila
amanda kauppila4 years ago

Just recently switched from Wells Fargo to Wecu.......couldn't be happier :)

june t.
june t.4 years ago

not a surprise

Marie W.
Marie W.4 years ago

Wow what a surprize! NOT!

Winn Adams
Winn Adams4 years ago

Collusion by banks? Nothing new here . . . .

Kaitlin Carney
Kaitlin Carney4 years ago

rest of my comment:
No more Mcdonalds or Coca Cola; vote with your money. Buy local or fair trade and use your money to support something positive, rather than the further enrichment of the 1%.

Kaitlin Carney
Kaitlin Carney4 years ago

The bank (Higher One) that financial aid automatically went through for my Community College does this, and worse. They only had one ATM in the whole town and it was on campus, a few miles outside of town. They charge a pin fee every time you use your pin number,. they also charge an ATM fee on top of the individual ATM machine fee. This amounts to a tax on financial aid, which is not legal. Hopefully the 99% realizes how bad banks are nickel and diming us and pull out! The 1% are making all that money off of our money. Stop banking with mega corporate banks, stop buying Monsanto produced food,

Portland Neola
P. L. Neola4 years ago

I used to have six accounts with Bank of America. Now, I have only three. I will be opening accounts next Monday at a state credit union, and these accounts will have lower and fewer service fees!!!! Wee!