Sometimes lawmakers can cause reform just by threatening legislation. That seems to be the case with Sen. Chris Dodd making Bank of America and Chase flinch by proposing legislation that would force banks to get customers’ permission to charge them overdraft fees.
Starting Oct. 19, BofA will no longer charge fees if the overdraft puts the account less than $10 in the red, and will lower the maximum number of charges it levies per day from 10 to four. And next year Chase will let customers opt out of overdraft “protection,” will let customers slide if their account is less than $5 in the red, and will lower its maximum amount of daily charges from six to three.
The Washington Post interviewed Dodd, who isn’t satsified:
“Bank of America is taking a step in the right direction, but we need legislation to protect every American with a bank account from these unfair fees,” Dodd said. “We wouldn’t need legislation if the industry acted responsibly in the first place.”
Even if Dodd’s proposed bill gets stuck in the Washington muck, he can rest assured that he’s already sparked some positive changes.
Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase to Further Limit Overdraft Fees