Bank overdraft fees slowly dwindling - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bank overdraft fees slowly dwindling

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) – Beginning July 1, 2010 The Federal Reserve will ban banks from charging overdraft fees unless costumers sign up for the service. And Congress is pushing two bills that will limit overdraft charges at one per month and six per year.

In anticipation, several major banks have already announced changes to their overdraft procedures to make it a little easier on customers.

It's easy to get carried away and just swipe a card thinking money is available when it's not. Now some bank customers are getting a little relief when it comes to overdraft fees just in time for the holidays.

Denise Cox banks at Regions. She admits she sometimes makes mistakes and spends money she doesn't have. When that happens she's hit with a $35 fee.

"I'd say I've been hit by them about three times in the past year," said Cox.  That's more than 100 bucks, wasted. "It is a little bit steep."

Now Regions and other major banks are implementing changes to help shoppers like her. Starting next year Regions will eliminate overdraft fees when customers overdraw their accounts by less than $5 and will charge no more than four overdraft fees per day.

Bank of America no longer charges a fee for an account overdrawn by less than $10 and their maximum number of fees per day is now 4, down from 10.

"That's not enough of a change." Kristin Raybon thinks the fees should be lowered. "For 35 and up that's just too much that's them just taking your money," said Raybon.

"That's too high a fee in this day in age with the situation the way it is," said Bill Cecille who has never had an NSF fee, but agrees current fees are outrageous.

"They could lower the fees or could at least work with certain people," he said. 

But for now shoppers will still have to keep a close eye on their accounts or find themselves in a whole lot of debt.

Banks are expected to make $38 billion from overdraft fees alone this year. But bank employees think that will cause other fees to rise.

JP Morgan Chase, PNC Financial, and Wells Fargo are a few other banks that recently announced changes regarding their overdraft policies.


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