Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), the second largest U.S. bank, is holding off on plans for new checking-account fees that could have affected some 10 million customers by year's end, avoiding a possible repeat of last year's protests over consumer banking fees, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
The move to back off on its plan at least until late 2013 comes amid a review of Bank of America's retail banking business, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the bank's plans.
The bank is looking for ways to cut losses it takes on the 20 percent of customers who keep modest balances on deposits and do not use credit cards, mortgage loans and other products. They generally have under $50,000 in yearly household income, costing the bank on average a couple hundred dollars annually, the Journal reported.
A Bank of America spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Fees are unpopular with customers as well as regulators who see them as punishing lower-income customers.
Several other big banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), have introduce plans to raise fees or encourage customers to use more products amid slow economic growth, low interest rates and new U.S. financial regulations that hurt banks' bottom lines.
(Reporting by Christine Stebbins; Editing by Vicki Allen)