What's that saying about whatever the market will bear? Well, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other banks got a lesson on that maxim recently - actually a lashing over it.
The marketplace - as in hundreds of thousands of incensed customers - clearly was not willing to bear a charge for using a debit card. So on Tuesday, BofA joined other banks in dropping the idea.
The people spoke and the bank listened. Good. That's exactly the way the process should work.
As we said last month, we didn't begrudge BofA's attempt to recoup profits it was losing due to a swipe fee amendment attached to a federal financial regulation bill last year. That amendment allowed the government to lower the fees banks charge merchants for debit card transactions, which meant that banks would likely pass that loss on to consumers the same way retailers had when they were charged the swipe fees.
That's what BofA, Wells Fargo and other banks tried to do. It's what American businesses big and small do each day when confronted with changes to their bottom line. "We have a right to make a profit," BofA CEO Brian Moynihan said at the time. And so they do.
But as we noted then, customers have rights, too. And when they don't like the way a business is conducting business they have a right to complain, and even take their business elsewhere. Both of which bank customers across the country did when the debit card fees were unveiled.
To read the complete editorial, visit www.charlotteobserver.com.