In mid-November, the Federal Reserve released a final rule and official staff commentary under Regulation E prohibiting financial institutions from assessing consumers overdraft fees related to ATM and nonrecurring debit-card transactions creating overdrafts unless consumers affirmatively consent to the service and associated fees. This change could result in an annual industry loss of noninterest fee income of more than $15 billion. Overdrafts created by checks, ACH transactions or recurring debits (such as automatic bill payments) are not covered by this rule, meaning banks will still be able to charge fees for honoring overdrafts in these situations without first obtaining consumer consent. Overdrafts that are paid directly by charging an overdraft-line-of-credit account, credit-card account or home-equity line are not covered.
U ntil July 1, financial institutions may charge consumers a fe
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