The three largest American retail banks collected 25% much less overdraft income final 12 months as the businesses, beneath strain from regulators to cap the charges, created new methods for purchasers to keep away from the penalties.
JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Financial institution of America reported a mixed $2.2 billion in overdraft charges in 2023, roughly $700 million lower than the earlier 12 months, in accordance with regulatory filings.
Overdraft fees are triggered when a buyer makes an attempt to spend greater than the steadiness of their checking accounts. At round $35 per transaction at many banks, the charges have been a profitable line merchandise for the business, producing $280 billion in income since 2000, in accordance with the Client Monetary Safety Bureau.
The business is girding itself for a battle over overdraft after the CFPB final month unveiled a proposal to restrict expenses to as little as $3 per transaction. Banks say overdraft companies are a lifeline that helps customers keep away from worse choices like payday loans, whereas critics together with President Biden say the charges exploit struggling People.
The observe has introduced unwelcome consideration to massive banks. Throughout a 2021 listening to, Sen. Elizabeth Warren needled JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon on the charges. Dimon on the time refused her name to refund $1.5 billion to prospects.
However even earlier than recent efforts by regulators, banks’ haul from overdraft has been on the decline. Pandemic stimulus cash helped People set off fewer of the charges beginning in 2020, after which companies together with Capital One, Citigroup and Ally voluntarily ended the observe.
Those that stored the charges, together with JPMorgan, restricted the sorts of transactions that set off penalties, removed charges for bounced checks and introduced one-day grace periods and $50 cushions to cut back their frequency.
Financial institution of America cut the charges to $10 from $35 in 2022.
“Whether or not of us eradicated some charges or dramatically decreased the price of others, there’s been very vital shifts right here,” mentioned Jennifer Tescher, CEO of nonprofit group Monetary Well being Community. “Banks aren’t simply eliminating overdraft, they’re looking for extra customer-friendly methods of assembly their liquidity wants whereas ensuring they are not overextended.”
Industrywide overdraft income totaled $7.7 billion in 2022, 35% under the 2019 stage, in accordance with a Could CFPB report that included all U.S. banks with not less than $1 billion in belongings.
Latest regulatory filings present that the development continued final 12 months, although JPMorgan and Wells Fargo stay by far the most important gamers in overdraft.
JPMorgan had $1.1 billion in overdraft income final 12 months, about 12% decrease than in 2022. Wells Fargo noticed a 27% decline to $937 million. Financial institution of America posted a 64% decline to $140 million.
Greater than 70% of overdraft transactions not incur charges, and prospects can select accounts that do not enable the penalties, a JPMorgan spokesman advised CNBC. Wells Fargo and Financial institution of America declined to remark.
“Our prospects proceed to inform us they need and want entry to overdraft safety, which helps them when they’re quickly quick on cash,” the JPMorgan spokesman mentioned.