New legislation sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) would take aim at the practice of some banks of posting check payments in order from the highest amount to the lowest. The "high-to-low" approach can trigger multiple overdraft fees for account holders, at an average of $34 apiece, according to a recent report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Fees for bounced checks, the study revealed, topped $32 billion last year. Brown is proposing greater transparency on the part of banks, however, so that customers are able to make informed decisions about where to bank. His bill would direct the CFPB to develop a model that is fair to both banks and their customers. Banks that adopt the model would receive a buffer against litigation in return.
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