Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders and freshman New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez plan to tackle the issue of predatory lending in the form of credit cards offered, referring to the banks that offer the cards as modern-day loan sharks.
They hope to cap credit card interest rates at 15% with legislation they introduced on Thursday.
One of the most basic and essential banking services—and the gateway to establishing credit—may now be a privilege only for the well-to-do, or at least the financially stable and predictable. Need to pay for basics, like housing and utilities, with a check? You may pay more to do so than your higher-earning neighbors.
In January, Bank of America announced the end of its Free Checking service. The bank was one of the largest, and only remaining, brick-and-mortar banks to offer this service. Existing customers are now funneled into the bank’s Core Checking program, an option that requires customers to keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or make at least one direct deposit a month of $250 or more. If your balance dips below that point, you’ll be charged $12 a month. In other words, if you don’t have enough money to meet those qualifications, get ready to get more broke.
In the latest casualty of a nationwide banking scandal, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf has stepped down from his role as the San Francisco bank district's representative to the Federal Advisory Council, a group of 12 bank executives that advise the Fed board. As a council member, Stumpf would meet with the Fed's board of governors in Washington, D.C. four times a year to discuss banking matters. A Wells Fargo representative said in a statement that Stumpf "made a personal decision to resign as the Twelfth District’s representative to the Federal Advisory Council" and that his "top priority is leading Wells Fargo."