Community Bank to pay, not charge, $5 a month

By:  Christine Hawes

MANTEE, FL - Community Bank, which has 17 branches throughout Manatee and four other southwest Florida counties, is joining the outcry against bank debit fees by offering new customers the opposite: a monthly payment.

The $5 per month Community Bank is offering anyone who opens a Value Checking account is a direct response to the $3 to $5 monthly debit card fees larger banks are starting to charge, bank officials said.

"We needed to do something to help consumers who are under attack from behemoth national banks charging fees that just don't make sense," said Katie Pembles, Community Bank president. "People have a choice of where to bank, and at Community Bank, we thought paying people $5 per month rather than charging them $5 per month was a good way to set us apart."

Pembles said Community Bank “doesn’t think we have to charge $5 a month to make an account profitable.”

The need to make up for revenue lost through regulatory reform is the reason Bank of America has given for its plan to charge customers who use debit cards for purchases. New rules that slash the amount banks can collect from merchants for debit card payments have cost banks up to $10 million, according to bank experts. 


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