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Several Banks To Cut Overdraft Fees

Several banks have announced plans to reduce their overdraft fees this week. But as Kristian Foden-Vencil reports, consumer groups say changes don’t go far enough.

Wells Fargo, Chase, U.S. Bank and others have all announced changes. For example, Well Fargo will no longer charge customers $35 for overdrawing less than $5.

The banks are hoping to slow momentum in Congress for new laws. But Matt Wallis, with the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, says Congress still needs to act.

Matt Wallis: “I think laws will protect consumers much better than press releases will. Laws of course are a lot harder to rescind or go back on than corporate policy.”

New legislation could deal with overdraft charges, or establish a new consumer financial protection agency. 

Banks generated six percent of their operating revenue from overdraft fees last year.

There is some concern that cutting those fees may prompt banks to charge for other services.

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