Grand Strand community banks hope customers upset with Bank of America will go to them

Bank of America customers have been outraged since the Charlotte, NC based bank announced Friday new charges for debit card users. One news anchor got so upset she cut up her debit card on air.

Starting in January of 2012, the bank will begin charging debit card users $5 per month to customers who swipe their card at the register. ATM swipes don't count, unless it's a different bank's ATM.

Brian Moynihan, Bank of America's CEO, shook up the bank's top management ranks September and slashed 30,000 jobs, after cutting 6,000 jobs earlier in the year. The bank says it is looking for more cost savings.

In regards to the debit car fees, Bank of America spokeswoman Anne Pace said to Bloomberg Businessweek, "The economics of offering a debit card have changed with recent regulations, and we've decided to introduce a monthly fee for customers who use their debit cards for purchases."

Grand Strand banks expect that as the news of the new fees becomes more widespread, many upset customers will close their Bank of America accounts and open accounts with them.

"I think it'll start to happen probably when a lot of people start to see it on their statements," says Shawn Campman, Vice-President of Crescent Bank in Myrtle Beach.

Crescent is currently running a heavy marketing campaign promoting their free checking. Campman says that isn't changing anytime soon.

"{People} want to have a straight forward account that they can use and without having to look at the end of the month how much money they lost in fees," he says.

Mark Kiskunas with Plantation Federal Bank says the also offer free checking and don't plan to change that. He also adds that for Bank of America customers who don't want to sacrifice convenience, many small banks, like theirs, have ATMs that are part of wide networks that don't charge fees.

Or, banks like Crescent repay fees from other ATMs.

"We reimburse you for up to two a month," Campman says.

President Obama has also spoken out against the fees. In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Obama said the debit-purchase fees are "exactly why we need somebody whose sole job it is to prevent this kind of stuff from happening."

The AP contributed to this report.