Regulators

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A rule issued by Federal Reserve Board that took effect in 2010 requires that banks get explicit permission from their customers before enrolling them in high-cost overdraft systems that cover debits and ATM transactions. They received thousands of comments from consumers asking for the stronger of two proposed rules, which is a step in the right direction, but fails to address abuses in systems when customers do opt in. The FDIC has addressed one of the most egregious practices, re-ordering transactions from highest to lowest in order to charge more overdraft fees, but its guidance applies only to the state-chartered banks it regulates. The OCC and the Fed should stop re-ordering as well, and all bank regulators should take steps to keep financial institutions from assessing unfair and excessive overdraft fees.

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