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.


William C
William C11 months ago


W. C
W. C11 months ago

Thank you.

Theresa G.
T G6 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 Kalina6 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 Kiran6 years ago


amanda kauppila
amanda k6 years ago

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

june t.
reft h6 years ago

not a surprise

Marie W.
Marie W6 years ago

Wow what a surprize! NOT!

Winn Adams
Winn A6 years ago

Collusion by banks? Nothing new here . . . .

Kaitlin Carney
Kaitlin Carney6 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%.