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SunTrust to eliminate $5 debit card fee

ATLANTA ? SunTrust, the Atlanta-based regional bank, became the latest major financial institution to reverse itself after strong consumer backlash.

SunTrust said the $5 monthly fee to use a debit card as a purchasing card at retailers will no longer be charged to clients with its Everyday Checking accounts starting Wednesday.

"We believe banking is a relationship business and recognize the importance of responding to client preferences," said Brad Dinsmore, who heads consumer banking and private wealth management for SunTrust. "We've listened to our clients' feedback and will provide the convenience and security of check cards at no additional charge as part of all of our checking accounts."

SunTrust is the No. 1 bank in metro Atlanta by deposits.

Wells Fargo backed away from a monthly debit fee last week. It tested a $3 monthly fee in Georgia and other markets.

Chase and other major U.S. banks also indicated they would not pursue the fees.

Bank of America, plans to charge a $5 fee for using a debit card for purchases, but media reports over the weekend indicated the bank was tinkering with ways to narrow the number of customers to be hit by the fee.