Banks Fight Back Against Overdraft Reporting Requirement

June 4, 2013
American Banker  
overdraft news

The banking industry is responding negatively to a proposal that banks' financial reports to regulators include details of how much money they make from overdraft charges and other consumer fees. In February, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Federal Reserve, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency suggested that banks' current reporting of cumulative deposit account fees was inadequate. "Greater understanding of trends in overdraft fees and other deposit service charges is necessary to assess institutional health and enhance understanding of the costs and potential risks financial services pose to consumers," the agencies declared. However, industry representatives say the plan undermines the original intention of financial reports, which is "safety and soundness." Rebecca Borne, senior policy counsel for the Center for Responsible Lending, complained that overdraft fee income has been "buried" in banks' reporting and argued that consumer protection and safety and soundness are "interwoven concepts." She concluded, "At the end of the day a product that poses severe consumer protection risk is going to pose safety and soundness risk as well." The regulatory proposal called for year-to-date breakdowns of consumer overdraft charges, monthly account maintenance charges, and ATM-related customer fees in addition to new detailed information about banks' remittance transfers, among other requirements. After receiving critical comments from banks and industry groups, the agencies indicated they would revisit the issue later.
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