BofA to test overdraft program, cut branches

Reuters

By Joe Rauch

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp will test an overdraft program in the first quarter of next year, allowing customers to accept an overdraft fee when a debit transaction is turned down, a company executive said on Friday.

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The message would give the customer the option to over-ride the rejection and complete the purchase, with an overdraft fee attached.

Currently, BofA, the largest U.S. bank by assets, bars any debit card transaction for customers that would incur an overdraft fee.

The test program would be the latest in a series of changes to BofA's consumer banking franchise, which has been overhauled following a series of new industry regulations introduced since the financial crisis.

Previously, BofA's senior management has said the bank may close up to 10 percent of its branches.

BofA currently has 5,900 U.S. branches.

"We will clearly continue to close stores," she said.

(Reporting by Joe Rauch)