Senators Brown and Booker Push Banks to Suspend Overdraft Fees

May 1, 2020Congressional Legislation, News

United States Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) recently wrote a letter to 15 bank CEOs, urging them to temporarily ban burdensome overdraft fees for customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We urge you to cease charging overdraft and non-sufficient fund fees during this time,” the lawmakers wrote. Reasonably priced overdraft lines of credit are a far better and more fair alternative, especially during a time of financial crisis.”

The lawmakers also provided data depicting that roughly 80 percent of overdraft-related fees fall on only 9 percent of account holders, who typically have low balances and low monthly deposits.

The Senators’ letter follows legislation the two Senators introduced in March,which would codify a ban on banks from charging overdraft fees during the coronavirus emergency. Brown and Booker have also introduced comprehensive legislation to permanently restrict such fees outside of the pandemic crisis.

Additionally, Brown and Booker addressed the importance of federal stimulus money for Americans. “Government stimulus funds, passed as part of the CARES Act, are intended to help consumers through this crisis⎯not to go to banks in the form of overdraft fees,” they added.

The letter was sent to the following banks: Ameris, Bank of America, Bank Plus, Truist Bank, Chase Bank, Ocean Bank, PNC Bank, Regions Bank, Suntrust, TD Bank, U.S. Bancorp, Wells Fargo, Woodforest National Bank, Citigroup, and HSBC North America Holdings.

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