Nine U.S. Banks Said to be Examined on Overdraft Fees(2)
Two years after regulators gave Americans more power to manage overdrafts of their checking accounts, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is reviewing bank practices to determine if the crackdown went far enough.
The agency, which will decide by the end of the year whether to write new rules, is scrutinizing nine banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and Bank of America Corp., said four people briefed on the examination.
The inquiry focuses on how financial institutions persuade customers to enroll in what they call overdraft protection programs. Examiners are looking at online and mailed marketing material as well as scripts used by the banks’ customer-service representatives to determine whether they could be confusing to consumers, said the people.
Susan Weinstock, director of the Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, said that marketing has led to consumer confusion.
Pew conducted two focus groups on overdrafts during April 2011 and found that people frequently misconstrued the notion of opting out, Weinstock said.
'We did focus groups where people said, ‘I opted in so I won’t have to pay the overdraft fee,’' Weinstock said.
Read the full article at bloomberg.com.