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‘Insufficient Funds’ for You, Big Business for Your Bank — Dollars and Sense

overdraft on bank statement
Semicolon-stop, Flickr

Consumer error appears to be greatly benefiting the financial industry, as a new banking report finds that charges to checking accounts caused by insufficient funds generated $31.5 billion last year. That is up from $30.8 million the year before, marking roughly an overall 2 percent increase.

According to financial researchers Moebs Services, that increase could be due to a recent upsurge in overdraft charges across the financial board, with nearly 3,000 banks across the United States reporting a near 4 percent hike in the median overdraft fee—up from $28 to $29. These reported increases are higher in places like Gainesville, Florida, where the average overdraft charge is $45, compared to a more reasonable $8 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Earlier this week, another financial report surfaced indicating that free checking was quickly becoming outdated due to tighter regulations on overdraft charges that are causing banks to lose money. However, with the financial industry reporting an additional $700 million in revenue this year from overdraft fees, it appears as if the policy changes that have occurred over the last year are greatly in favor of the banks.

[ABC News]

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