SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

November 24, 2011 08:16 ET

Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Look to New Revenue Drivers as Customer Revolt Continues

The Bedford Report Provides Equity Research on Wells Fargo & JPMorgan Chase

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 24, 2011) - Amidst a firestorm of customer backlash, US banks of all sizes are backing off the new monthly fees. Banks began instituting monthly fees in response to last year's Dodd-Frank legislation that limited the amount of money banks could charge merchants for individual transactions. Banks skirted the legislation by charging a flat monthly fee to use debit cards in order to recoup some of the losses. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Money Center Banking industry and provides equity research on Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

Moving forward, the move to drop monthly debit card transaction fees will certainly help the public image of regional banks. However, regional banks can ill afford further revenue stream losses and need to find new ways to generate capital. Bill Hardekopf, CEO of, stated that "banks are still losing billions of dollars in revenue from the interchange fee regulations."

In addition to charging fees to use debit cards, many banks added or increased fees for checking accounts and raised amounts customers must have in those accounts to avoid such fees.

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Last month Wells Fargo cancelled plans to charge a $3 monthly fee for using its debit cards after customers in a five- state pilot program opposed the charge. "As we adjust to changes in our business, we will continue to stay attuned to what our customers want," Ed Kadletz, head of the bank's debit and prepaid card business, said in a separate statement. "This means understanding their needs."

JPMorgan's Chase retail unit is one of the largest US consumer banks, with 26.5 million checking accounts and 5,300 branches. Following eight months of consumer testing, the company also decided that it won't charge customers who use their debit cards to make purchases.

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