U.S. Overdraft Fees Jump to $32 Billion as New Rules Prove Ineffective

March 29, 2013
Huffington Post  
overdraft news

Americans paid more in overdraft fees last year, although a measure was passed in 2010 to curtail abusive overdraft charges. A report by Illinois-based Moebs Services found that banks and credit unions increased their 2012 overdraft fee earnings by 1.3 percent over the previous year to $32 billion. Consumer advocates and banking experts argue that these higher revenues came at the expense of financially struggling consumers. In 2010, the Federal Reserve issued rules that banks could not enroll account holders in overdraft protection programs without permission. These rules triggered an unexpected response from banks, including reordering transactions to process larger purchases first rather than in chronological order. Some institutions also increased the penalties for bounced checks, scaring some consumers into overdraft protection. "Consumers might be trying to hide from the banks, but the banks keep coming up with creative ways to pick their pockets," remarked Ed Mierzwinski of U.S. PIRG.
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