Research & Analysis
In addition to CRL’s extensive research documenting unfair overdraft practices, the FDIC and the Government Accountability Office have both produced reports outlining the abuses. CRL’s latest estimate of the overall cost of unauthorized overdrafts to Americans every year is $23.7 billion. We have also found that debit overdrafts cost $2 for every dollar “borrowed” from the bank to cover them.
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- The State of Lending: High-Cost Overdraft Fees
July 30, 2013
Many banks and credit unions continue to charge abusive fees on debit cards and checking accounts. In this report, "High-cost Overdraft Practices," CRL finds that, in spite of regulatory changes in recent years, consumers paid more than $16 billion in fees during 2011. Debit cards have the most expensive and disproportionate fees.
- Banks Should Disclose Overdraft Fees
May 9, 2013
Today banks are allowed to report overdraft fees as part of general service charge income, but CRL supports greater transparency. In this comment letter to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), CRL supports a current proposal requiring separate accounting for overdraft-related fees. CRL also urges separate reporting for overdraft fees triggered by debit card purchases and ATMs versus overdraft fees triggered by checks and automated clearinghouse transactions.
- Comments to CFPB on Overdraft Practices
July 6, 2012
CRL joined with CFA and NCLC to provide the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) with documentation of bank overdraft practices and their impact on consumers. The CFPB should stop banks from reordering transactions and should prohibit overdraft fees on debit card transactions, which can easily be declined at no cost.
- Comment to the Federal Reserve on Notice by Capital One to Acquire ING Bank
September 20, 2011
The Center for Responsible Lending commented on Capital One's proposed acquisistion of ING Bank at a public meeting held by Federal Reserve on September 20, 2011.
- AFR Sign-on to OCC on Overdraft and Bank Payday
August 9, 2011
Consumer groups fear OCC proposed guidance may legitimize and facilitate the spread of payday lending by national banks, and banks would continue abusive overdraft practices—harming bank customers, undermining state payday loan laws, and weakening the long-term safety and soundness of financial institutions.
- Comments to OCC on Overdraft and Bank Payday Loans
August 9, 2011
CRL filed comments to the OCC on August 8, 2011 urging them to strengthen rules on overdraft and bank payday lending. Automatic debit overdrafts, re-ordering of account transactions and direct deposit personal loans or bank payday loans unfairly strip fees from consumers.
- Overdraft Opt-In Savings
June 23, 2011
Better Overdraft Policies Put Money Back In Consumers' Pockets: Regulators Must Stop Remaining Overdraft Abuses
- Banks Collect Overdraft Opt-Ins Through Misleading Marketing
April 26, 2011
A Center for Responsible Lending survey indicates that most consumers do not want high-cost overdraft coverage for their checking accounts, and that opt-ins are largely based on aggressive and misleading marketing, rather than clear and accurate information from banks.
- Joint Letter Urging OCC to Curb Overdraft Abuse
October 13, 2010
The Center for Responsible Lender added its signature to a letter from national consumer organizations asking the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to adopt stricter overdraft guidelines. Practices that need to be addressed include enrolling customers in fee-based overdraft when they qualify for much lower-cost coverage, charging excessive fees in amount and frequency, re-ordering transactions to maximize fees and deceptive solicitations.
- Joint Letter in Support of FDIC Overdraft Proposals September 2010
September 27, 2010
CRL and a cross-section of civil rights, labor, consumer, housing, community, business, and sustainable and responsible investor groups sent a joint letter to the FDIC expressing support for bringing attention to abusive overdraft practices. The groups support the agency’s common-sense recommendations for actions banks should take to treat their customers more fairly while offering recommendations for how the FDIC could further address its banks deceptive practices.