Financial institutions rake in billions annually from overdraft fees. Some banks and credit unions recently have curbed or ended these fees for their customers — for which they should be commended — but many more depository institutions quietly continue overdraft practices that, at their best, nickel-and-dime consumers and, at their worst, cause devastating, lasting harm to financially vulnerable families. Overdraft charges are too important to the bottom line to expect that urging these institutions to “do the right thing” will suffice.
This is a systemic problem that requires strong action. Financial regulators must rein in the size and frequency of these fees. We need our government to stop financial institutions from fleecing consumers with overdraft fees.