Patt Morrison for February 22, 2012

Has your bank recently charged you an overdraft fee? Consumer watchdog group may soon have answers

A photo illustration shows a debit card

Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images

A photo illustration shows a debit card being swiped at a Wachovia Bank on August 20, 2010 in Washington next to a brochure explaining new debit card regulations which went into effect recently.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – the consumer watchdog group charged with defending consumer interests – announced today that it is launching a probe into the fees that banks charge customers who bounce checks or withdraw more money than is in their accounts. The bureau’s director Richard Cordray said this morning that the inquiry would focus on whether some banks misled consumers in 2010 when they instituted new Federal Reserve regulations for overdraft protection. The group will also investigate whether banks routinely reorder customers’ daily transactions and process the largest ones first, maximizing the number of transactions that set off an overdraft fee and potentially maximizing overdrafts.


Have you been charged with an overdraft fee recently? Are you optimistic that the bureau can change this?


Ruth Susswein, deputy director, national priorities Consumer Action, a national advocacy group

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