Overdraft Fees on the Rise Again
Overdraft fees on checking accounts took their first increase in four years, according to a new study by Moebs Services.
Consumers paid $31.5 billion for overdraft fees in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. This was a 2.1 percent increase over the $30.8 billion the previous 12 months.
Moebs reports the $700 million increase came from a 3.6 percent increase in the price of the fees. The median price of an overdraft fee now stands at $29, up $1 from the prior year. There was an actual 1.4 percent decrease in volume of overdraft fees.
Overdraft fees are those financial penalties collected from checking-account customers who spend more than their available balances.
Financial reform of the past few years revised some of the overdraft practices used by banks. It is now necessary for customers to “opt-in” for overdraft protection on ATM and debit card transactions that exceed a customer’s available balance.
As a result of these reforms, overdraft fees fell over 16 percent in three years, from $36.8 billion in June 2008 to last year’s $30.8 billion.