Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan defended his bank's plan for a new fee on debit card users on Wednesday, saying that the bank's customers and shareholders understand that the bank has a "right to make a profit," CNN reports.
Moynihan made the comment in an interview with CNBC's Larry Kudlow at the Washington Ideas Forum, put on by the Newseum, the Aspen Institute and the Atlantic magazine.
"I have an inherent duty as a CEO of a publicly owned company to get a return for my shareholders," Moynihan told Kudlow.
Watch the whole interview here, via CNBC:
News of the bank's plan for a new debit card fee emerged last week. Bank of America customers who use their debit cards to make purchases will be charged a $5 fee per month. The move is seen as a response to the so-called Durbin amendment, the part of the financial reform law that caps the fees banks can charge merchants for processing debit cards at 21 cents per transaction. The Durbin amendment went into effect October 1.
Last Friday, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) slammed the new fee.
"It seems that old habits die hard for Bank of America," Durbin said in a statement. "After years of raking in excess profits off an unfair and anti-competitive interchange system, Bank of America is trying to find new ways to pad their profits by sticking it to its customers."