WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the Biden administration’s latest effort to lower costs for Americans, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today proposed a new rule limiting overdraft fees charged by banking institutions and credit unions to a range of $3 to $14, a move expected to save consumers $3.5 billion a year. In 2022 alone, consumers paid over $7.7 billion in surprise and often-hidden overdraft/NSF fees.
American consumers strongly support the Biden administration’s crackdown on overdraft fees that will lower their costs by billions of dollars every year. While the administration is once again siding with consumers over greedy corporations, Republicans in Congress are lining up behind bank and credit union CEOs and lobbyists who gouge consumers to pad their massive profits. The last thing many families living paycheck to paycheck need is a surprise $35 overdraft charge on a gallon of milk or loaf of bread, yet many Republicans in Congress say Americans should be grateful for the hard lesson in corporate greed."
Accountable.US’ Liz Zelnick.
“If these lawmakers actually cared about lowering costs and helping grow the middle class, they would be cheering the Biden war on hidden junk fees, not carrying the water for their industry mega-donors who abuse the practice.”
This month, Accountable.US released a report finding the 10 largest banks still using overdraft fees raked in over $2.34 billion from the practice in 2023 as of September 2023. These banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, have also paid billions in fines and restitution over the years for exploiting consumers with overdraft fees.
Before the new rule was even proposed, big banks, credit card companies and Republicans in Congress that take millions of dollars from these industries attacked and smeared the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for daring to go after industry price-gouging and greedy practices that keep everyday Americans getting ahead. In service to their industry donors, powerful Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee penned letters spinning surprise overdraft fees as a practice that somehow does a favor to struggling working Americans.
A recent national survey commissioned by Accountable.US found Americans overwhelmingly believe cracking down on price gouging by banning junk fees will lower their costs.