Poor Families Lose Millions in Welfare to Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase


Low income Americans are often castigated by Republicans for supposedly being lazy, not willing to work and using drugs.

However, there is little outrage from the GOP about banks that collect millions in taxpayer dollars meant for poor people.

According to Mother Jones, California turned over its electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards to Xerox, which created a new welfare system where people withdraw benefits from the banks, but there's no law that banks have to waive ATM fees for these low income residents.

The California Reinvestment Coalition recently released a new report that says:

Most EBT transactions are processed by banks and other ATM owners that charge EBT users a significant fee, typically $2 to $3 per use or as high as $4.00 per use.

Check cashing stores also charge a fee to withdraw money using EBT cards- usually 1 to 2% of the amount withdrawn.

Together, these fees totaled over $19.4 million in 2012 going to fees instead of the intended purpose of the benefits.

While it is true that poor people can have their welfare money deposited directly into their bank accounts, many low income folks don't have bank accounts because they can't afford the fees charged by banks.

The California Reinvestment Coalition says Bank of America got $3.6 million from ATM fees charged to CalWORKs recipients in 2012-2013, JPMorgan Chase made $2.8 million and Wells Fargo banked $2.3 million in taxpayer funds meant for poor people.

Sources: Mother Jones and California Reinvestment Coalition


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