Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan is defending the bank’s recent decision to implement a $5 monthly debit cards, saying that customers and bank shareholders understand the bank has a “right to make a profit.”
B of A announced the move last week in response to new caps on debit card swipe fees that banks are allowed to charge retailers.
Moynihan stopped just short of criticizing President Barack Obama, who said earlier this week that banks do not have an “inherent right” to a “certain amount of profit.”
The Bank of America CEO did say, however, that banks do have an inherent right to make a profit in an interview yesterday with CNBC’s Larry Kudlow at the Washington Ideas Forum.
“I have an inherent duty as a CEO of a publicly owned company to get a return for my shareholders,” Moynihan said.
Moynihan said that the bank will talk to its clients and shareholders and “they’ll understand what we’re doing…understand we have a right to make a profit.”
Moynihan said the bank had made the fee clear to customers and noted that B of A had given more than enough notice as the fee won’t go into effect until next year.
He added that the new monthly fee was necessary because the “ability to be profitable” in retail banking has changed. He said that Wall Street reforms, with regard to the so-called Dodd-Frank Act, will end up costing Bank of America “billions.”
When Kudlow asked Moynihan if he thought B of A was being attacked, he said “no.”
“We have the best bank in the world, we do a great job for our customers,” he added.