WASHINGTON, DC — As the Biden administration announces two major new initiatives to crack down on junk fees and cut costs for families, government watchdog Accountable.US called on Acting Speaker Patrick McHenry and the MAGA majority to start putting consumers above their financial industry mega-donors. While McHenry and others have gone to the mat in defense of the greedy and abusive junk fee practice, the CFPB’s efforts are already delivering for everyday Americans: Bounced check fees are down more than 86% since 2021—saving consumers nearly $2 billion; Banking fees are down more than $5 billion annually compared to pre-pandemic; and the CFPB has already secured $140 million in consumer refunds from companies that charged illegal junk fees, like surprise overdraft fees.

The reason the financial industry is attacking the Bureau and spending millions to lobby against junk fee-ending initiatives is simple: junk fees pad their bottom line. American families navigate well-hidden and high-cost fees every day, and the CFPB is working hard to eliminate these fees on behalf of consumers, even as they face an existential threat from payday lenders at the Supreme Court. As the financial industry tries to bully its way out of regulation with the help of the MAGA House majority in its pocket, today’s announcement makes it clear that the CFPB will not back down as they fight to lower costs for American families.”

Liz Zelnick, Director of Accountable.US’ Economic Security & Corporate Power project.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) weathers ongoing attacks from the shady financial industry, curbing junk fees—which cost Americans tens of billions of dollars every year—remains a major part of their efforts to protect families from predatory financial actors. Today, the Bureau offered new guidance to stop big banks from charging unreasonable fees on basic services.   

In addition, the Biden administration announced a newly proposed rule from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which would prohibit hiding mandatory fees from the advertising price on everyday transactions like booking hotels, buying a concert ticket, renting an apartment, and more. By mandating companies be upfront about the cost of a transaction, the FTC estimates consumers will save more than $10 billion over the next decade.  



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