Bank of America Fee Reversal Will Spur Copycats

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bank of America ( BAC)'s decision to back away from fee increases for many of its customers is likely to persuade competitors to take similar steps if history is any guide.

Just over a year ago, Bank of America was among the first banks to initiate a $5 charge for users of its debit cards. However, as other companies that had planned similar moves, including JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), Wells Fargo ( WFC), Regions Financial ( RF)and SunTrust Bank ( STI) all scrapped those plans, Bank of America was eventually forced to do away with its fee just one month after announcing it.

This time around, however, Bank of America appears to be out in front of its competition in backing down from fee hikes. The Wall Street Journal, which reported Bank of America's decision on Sunday , states that other banks, including JPMorgan and Wells also have plans to increase fees charged to consumers.

Email messages to spokespeople for Wells and JPMorgan weren't returned, but don't be surprised to see those institutions pulling the plug on their planned fee increases in the coming days. None of these big banks wants to stand out as the Scroogiest of the bunch.

-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.

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