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Bank of America to bring back overdraft fees, close more branches

After eliminating overdraft fees last year, Bank of America is poised to bring them back.

But customers will have more control over whether they pay the fees under a new Bank of America test program announced Friday by Laurie Readhead, retail segments executive for the Charlotte-based company.

The bank also said Friday it will close more branches.

Currently, when a customer tries to use their debit card swipe without sufficient funds, the card is declined. The new program, set to roll out in the next few months, would send the customer a text message and let them accept or deny the transaction while informing them that there will be an overdraft fee.

Exact fee amounts haven’t been determined.

“We think this is a much better approach, to let the customer choose,” Readhead said at the RBC Capital Markets financial institutions conference in Boston.

Also at the meeting the bank announced it plans to cutting some branches. A plan announced earlier this year called for the closure of around 10 percent of the company’s approximately 5,900 U.S. branches, but Readhead said to expect more cuts as Internet banking becomes more prevalent with mobile devices and Web customers.

Scott Baughman can be reached at scott.baughman@mecktimes.com.

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