It took 18 months for the FDIC to figure out that banks’ practice of clearing checks largest to smallest makes banks a lot of money.
Bankers defend it saying that people would rather their cable bill to bounce than their mortgage payment, but it just so happens that if you miscalculate your balance or a deposit didn’t clear in time, it maximizes potential fees. Overdraft fees accounted for 74% of service fees banks earned in 2006, to the tune of $1.97 billion. The data was based on banks’ responses to survey questions, so you can bet the numbers are actually higher.
FDIC: Bank overdraft fees hit young, low-income customers [USAToday] (Thanks to Snarkysnake!) (Photo: David Reber)