OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Governor Chris Gregoire says JP Morgan Chase must figure out a way to make their ATM machines warn welfare clients of an 85-cent fee to withdraw cash. The governor made her comments Wednesday after she declined to veto the disclosure requirement.
JP Morgan Chase charges Washington more than $8 million a year to disperse welfare benefits electronically. Photo by Austin Jenkins
For weeks we've been telling you about ATM fees Washington welfare clients are racking up. More than $450,000 in the first four months of this year. This is money JPMorgan Chase charges as part of its master contract with the state to provide welfare benefits electronically.
In response to our reporting, Washington lawmakers inserted a requirement into a larger welfare overhaul bill that the bank disclose the fee at the time of the transaction.
JPMorgan Chase said it wasn't technically feasible and asked Gregoire for a veto. She said no.
"This bank, one of the most sophisticated banks in the world, can't find a way to give a consumer notice by current technology? I don't believe that," Gregoire said.
Gregoire also calls the 85-cent ATM fee "offensive" and says it should get a "hard look" when the Chase contract comes up for renewal in 2014.
The bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On the Web:
Washington Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card:
EBT card brochure:
Chase government debit cards:
Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network