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ABA: The American Bankers Association

ABA Statement on CFPB Fee Guidance

“Consistent with the CFPB's misguided public relations campaign against so-called ‘junk fees,’ today’s Bureau action attempts to sensationalize highly regulated fees that are already clearly disclosed to customers under existing federal rules. Indeed, Reg DD requires banks to disclose fees charged to recipients of checks that bounce. Financial institutions that charge those fees use them to cover the cost associated with identifying and returning a bad check and the risk of loss if the money is no longer in the account when the check is returned.

"The so-called 'surprise' overdraft fees identified by the Bureau are also disclosed under existing rules and are largely triggered by operational issues that have been addressed by technology improvements made by banks and their vendors as far back as three years ago. It's also important to note that a growing number of banks provide overdraft-free account options or no longer charge overdraft fees at all.

"Today's actions also call into question the CFPB's process. Rather than propose changes and give the industry and other stakeholders a chance to offer constructive input as is the norm, the Bureau once again has chosen to regulate via press release. Highly regulated banks and the customers they serve deserve better.

"Available evidence, including the Bureau's own testing and reports, show that consumers understand fee disclosures, and appreciate the products and services provided even if they have to pay fees for them. Consumers across the country share this view. A recent survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of ABA found that eight in 10 consumers (82%) believe the financial services industry is highly competitive, and 82% believe their bank is transparent about disclosing fees.

"We wish the Bureau could be equally transparent about its actions."


About the American Bankers Association

The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $24 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ approximately 2.1 million people, safeguard $19 trillion in deposits and extend $12.4 trillion in loans.

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