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Friday, August 1, 2014

CFPB Issues Report on Overdraft Fees

The CFPB issued a report on trends in overdraft fees. Drawing on data from several banks with over $10 billion in assets, the bureau said that overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees represent the majority of fees that checking account customers incur, a figure that rises to 75% for customers who have opted in to overdraft protection. The vast majority of customers — 69.8% — never overdraw their accounts, and an additional 12.5% overdraw only one to three times per year, averaging less than $30 in fees.

Overdrafts are thus concentrated among a small subset of account holders, with 8% of customers accounting for three-quarters of overdraft revenues. The median debit card transaction leading to an overdraft is $24. Those who opt into overdraft protection are more likely to use the product by incurring overdrafts.

ABA quickly responded to the report. ABA SVP Nessa Feddis said:
No one in America has debit card and ATM overdraft protection today who did not affirmatively opt in after receiving a one-page summary of the service and fees. They receive written verification of their choice, multiple reminders when they overdraw and can opt out at any time. Consumers have multiple tools to manage and can check their accounts day and night to avoid overdrawing.

In issuing the report the bureau did not accelerate its rulemaking calendar, so any proposed regulations on overdraft fees are not expected until next year at the earliest.

Read the report.

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