WASHINGTON, DC — Today, several of the nation’s largest banks released their final 2023 quarterly earnings reports, with JPMorgan Chase reporting its most profitable year on record with $49.6 billion in profits, “the most ever in the history of the American banking industry.” A recent analysis from government watchdog Accountable.US found that JPMorgan Chase collected $839 million in overdraft fees between January and September 2023, making them among the financial institutions most reliant on the practice.
While the financial industry spews dubious arguments that junk fees somehow benefit their customers, the truth is that these fees are just another way to inflate industry profits. Big banks are padding their already excessive earnings with hidden junk fees that disproportionately impact low-income Americans. It’s just another form of corporate price gouging, and the Biden administration’s crackdown on the practice will lower costs for millions of Americans.”
Liz Zelnick, Director Of Accountable.US’ Economic Security & Corporate Power Program.
Next week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is expected to expand the Biden administration’s efforts to lower costs for American families by finalizing its new rule capping overdraft fees. The rule is expected to save consumers billions of dollars each year, despite industry claims that overdraft fees are a convenient innovation that “save consumers money.”
Those arguments are just the tip of the iceberg. Between January and September 2023, the Consumer Bankers Association—an industry lobbying group—spent $2.65 million while lobbying against the “Overdraft Protection Act of 2021” and “issues related to overdraft fees.” Meanwhile, the American Bankers Association more than doubled this output, spending $6.43 million while opposing similar legislation aimed at cracking down on overdraft fees.
Despite those claims, a national survey commissioned by Accountable.US as part of its Defend American Consumers campaign found Americans overwhelmingly believe the Biden administration efforts cracking down on price gouging by banning junk fees will lower their costs.