Overdraft Settlements Cost Banks A Small Fraction Of What's Netted In Fees
When compared with the billions of dollars big banks have rung up in overdraft fees over the last decade, recent settlements with customers over unfair overdraft charges have amounted to little more than a slap on the wrist.
No different is JPMorgan Chase's tentative agreement, first reported Monday, to settle for $110 million a consumer case charging that it routinely reordered checking account transactions.
Consumer advocates, including Pew Charitable Trusts, have called for a rule to ban the reordering of transactions, a practice that they say unfairly targets low-income customers. While nearly all banks have stopped processing transactions in this way, there is no rule to prevent them from restarting in the future.
'Any bank could reinstate this practice at any time,' said Susan Weinstock, director of the Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project at Pew. 'That's why we are pushing the [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] to write a rule that prohibits reordering that maximizes overdrafts.'
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- Safe Checking in the Electronic Age