Consumer Federation of America
National Consumer Law Center (On behalf of its low income clients)
U.S. Public Interest Research Group
National Association of Consumer Advocates
Consumer Action
Consumers Union
Center for Responsible Lending

Specifically, we request that the OCC:

• Require national banks to submit their training manuals, scripts provided to bank employees, communications to customers, and advertising materials and promotions used to solicit opt-in for fee-based overdraft coverage, in order to monitor whether bank practices and messages are deceptive or inconsistent with the Federal Reserve’s rule.

• Prohibit national banks from using scare tactics or deceptive or misleading statements in materials and messages soliciting consumer opt-in.

• Closely examine overdraft opt-in programs for disparate impact and take action against any bank that targets vulnerable consumers who are heavy users of overdrafts.

• Consider sustained overdraft fees, i.e. multiple fees for a single violation, to be an unfair practice because the fee is not reasonable or proportional to the overdraft.

• Urge banks to deny overdrafts when funds are not sufficient to cover debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals. Bank of America has announced that it will deny unfunded debit card purchases while Citibank denies both debit purchases and ATM withdrawals on insufficient funds. Rather than solicit customers to pay $35 for small overdrafts, responsible banks should simply deny these transactions.

Read the letter in its entirety by clicking the pdf below.