SunTrust Banks Inc. said Monday that it will eliminate a monthly fee on check cards, joining a growing list of banks shunning the charges.
SunTrust said it would eliminate the monthly check-card fee on its Everyday Checking account starting Wednesday. It said all clients who incurred the fee, which was rolled out in June, would receive a refund.
Brad Dinsmore, an executive of consumer banking and private wealth management at SunTrust, said the bank was responding response to client feedback. He said the company now would provide check cards at no additional charge as part of all checking accounts.
Multiple banks have steered clear of the debit-card fees recently. Several banks like SunTrust and Regions Financial Corp. had already started levying the fees this summer when Bank of America Corp.'s in September introduced a plan to institute a $5 monthly fee on some customers who use the cards to make purchases. That plan, from the country's largest bank by assets, sparked an outcry from politicians and the public.
Since then, both Wells Fargo & Co. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s Chase retail unit have decided against debit-card fees after testing them in pilot programs.
Banks have been searching for ways to make up debit revenue losses expected from new caps on fees merchants pay when a customer uses a debit card at their stores. In June, the Federal Reserve Board finalized rules capping such fees at 24 cents per transaction, compared with the previous average of 44 cents. The limits stem from a provision known as the Durbin amendment in last year's Dodd-Frank financial regulation overhaul legislation.
SunTrust shares were down 3.1% at $20 in recent trading in the midst of a wider market decline. Through the close, the stock has fallen 32% so far this year, while the market at large has risen.