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Bank of America to reduce overdraft fees as regulatory scrutiny grows

By Elizabeth Dilts Marshall NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), the second-largest U.S. bank, said on Tuesday it would reduce overdraft fees from $35 to $10 beginning...
Bank of America to reduce overdraft fees as regulatory scrutiny grows © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Bank of America logo is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

By Elizabeth Dilts Marshall

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), the second-largest U.S. bank, said on Tuesday it would reduce overdraft fees from $35 to $10 beginning in May, the latest bank to reduce or scrap such charges amid growing regulatory scrutiny.

The bank will also stop charging customers a $35 non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee for bouncing checks or making other automated payments starting in February, and eliminate its $12 fee for overdraft protection services, the bank said.

Such fees have drawn the ire of U.S. lawmakers and the scrutiny of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The watchdog said last month it was exploring new guidance aimed at curbing banks' reliance on overdraft and NSF fees which have ballooned, generating an estimated $69 billion for banks in the third quarter of 2021 compared with $15 billion for the whole of 2019, it said.

Bank of America has been in discussions with the CFPB regarding the new policy, which it received "in a positive fashion," said Holly O'Neill, Bank of America's president of retail banking, in an interview.

Late last year, Capital One Financial Corp (NYSE:COF) said it was eliminating all overdraft and NSF fees. Transactions that overdraft a customer's account are declined unless the customer opts for overdraft protection.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), the largest U.S. bank, has also said it would give customers a full day to bring overdrawn accounts up to zero before charging them and allow customers to tap into funds from direct deposits two days early.

Unlike some lenders, Bank of America decided not to eliminate overdrafts entirely or cut fees to zero.

"Eliminating overdraft altogether is not really what clients want," O'Neill said, citing the bank's conversations with community advisory groups.

O'Neill expects more banks to offer "access to overdraft with a minimal fee. If you take the fee to zero, it is going to be very hard for banks to allow clients even that occasional access."

Bank of America does not break out revenue from overdraft and related fees, but estimated on Tuesday that they made up 1% of revenue in 2021. The changes, coupled with others over the past 12 years - including stopping debit card overdraft charges at point of sale and offering low-cost, short-term loan coverage - reduce overdraft fee revenue by 97% from 2009, it added.

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18-01-2022 11:41:00 (UTC+7)

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 EUR/USD1.1330Neutral
 GBP/USD1.3579↑ Sell
 USD/JPY114.64↑ Buy
 AUD/USD0.7182↑ Sell
 USD/CAD1.2538Buy
 EUR/JPY129.89Neutral
 EUR/CHF1.0392Neutral
 Gold1,812.65Neutral
 Silver23.477Sell
 Copper4.4015Sell
 Crude Oil WTI84.22↑ Sell
 Brent Oil86.88↑ Sell
 Natural Gas4.323↑ Sell
 US Coffee C239.10↑ Sell
 Euro Stoxx 504,257.65↑ Sell
 S&P 5004,593.80Buy
 DAX15,773.09↑ Sell
 FTSE 1007,566.20↑ Sell
 Hang Seng24,112.78↑ Buy
 Small Cap 20002,113.85↑ Buy
 IBEX 358,780.74↑ Sell
 BASF67.935↑ Sell
 Bayer52.06Neutral
 Allianz225.90↑ Sell
 Adidas255.00↑ Sell
 Lufthansa7.135↑ Sell
 Siemens AG142.64↑ Sell
 Deutsche Bank AG11.960↑ Buy
Mua/Bán 1 chỉ SJC
# So hôm qua # Chênh TG
SJC Eximbank6,115/ 6,155
(-5/ -5) # 1,167
SJC HCM6,110/ 6,170
(0/ 0) # 1,183
SJC Hanoi6,110/ 6,172
(0/ 0) # 1,185
SJC Danang6,110/ 6,172
(0/ 0) # 1,185
SJC Nhatrang6,110/ 6,172
(0/ 0) # 1,185
SJC Cantho6,110/ 6,172
(0/ 0) # 1,185
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GBP30.202,2531.491,85
JPY191,95203,20
KRW16,5120,11
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