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Big banks waive ATM fees, close branches in storm-wrecked Houston

Key Points
  • JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in Houston, says it will refund or waive certain fees for customers in greater Houston through September 10.
  • Separately, Dallas-based Comerica says it's waiving ATM fees for its customers if they need to use other banks' ATMs.
  • BB&T says it will also "address any fees or charges related to the storm" that arise for clients.
A Comerica Bank branch
Raymond Boyd | Getty Images

Some major banks in Houston said they are cutting fees for customers after catastrophic flooding in America's fourth-largest city from Hurricane Harvey.

JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in Houston, said it will automatically waive or refund ATM fees on deposit accounts through September 10 for customers in the greater metropolitan area. The waivers and refunds will also apply to overdraft and monthly service fees on deposit accounts and late fees for mortgage, credit card, business banking and auto loans, according to a statement.

The bank has about 6,400 local employees and more than 200 branches in the Houston area.

Dallas-based bank Comerica said all its branches in the greater Houston area are closed.

"We are waiving ATM fees for our customers who might need to use other ATMs and noncustomers who use our ATMs," the bank said in a statement. "We've activated our crisis response team and we've been closely monitoring the situation."

Bank of America said its ATM network is "currently active" in the greater Houston area and will "automatically will refund fees incurred by our consumer and small business customers in the areas impacted by the storm."

The bank said its financial centers are closed through the end of day Wednesday in eight counties in the region and at selected areas near the southeastern coast of Texas: Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Jefferson, Montgomery, Nueces and Victoria.

Regional bank BB&T also said all its branches and offices in the greater Houston area are closed.

"We will continue to work alongside our clients in the area to meet their needs in this difficult time and address any fees or charges related to the storm," the bank said in a statement.

JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo are each donating $1 million to Harvey relief efforts. BB&T said it is donating $100,000 to the American Red Cross of Greater Houston and delivering several truckloads of bottled water and supplies.

Hurricane Harvey has dumped more than 20 inches of rain in parts of southeast Texas since last Thursday night and another 15 to 25 inches of rainfall are expected through this Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm landed in Texas as a Category 4 storm, the strongest to hit the state in more than 50 years, before weakening Saturday afternoon to a tropical storm.

Financial stocks were the second-to-worst performer in the S&P 500 Monday. Insurance stocks were the greatest decliners within the stock industry sector.

Shares of Comerica closed 1.5 percent lower, while JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and BB&T each closed less than a third of a percent lower.