Should Banks Have Overdraft Fees? (JPM, ZION, BAC, CBSH, WFC)

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While not breaking news at this point, there is something that is front and center in banking when it comes to overdraft fees.  To many consumers, overdraft fees are simply nothing more than a tax on people who cannot fill their bank accounts with very much money.  No one cares what bankers think anymore, but the flip-side of the overdraft fee is that if they are not in place the banks will be on the hook when customers choose to not put money back into a bank with a negative balance and that many customers will go in the red frequently.  If a bank denies a check’s ability to be used because a customer’s account would go into the red, the customer feels bad at the register and gets mad at the bank. 

We want to know what you think below.  Look at how much some banks have paid to settle overdraft charges and then decide in our poll below…. Should banks have overdraft fees???

So here are some recent settlements and other overdraft fee news…

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) was asked by the U.S. District Court of Southern Florida in Miami to pay $110 million over a class suit for charging of inappropriate overdraft fees to its customers. Zions Bancorp. (ZION) was accused in late 2011 of improper overdraft fees over its policies in place from 2005 to 2010.

Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) and Commerce Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: CBSH) were ordered to make payments over unfair trade practices in overdraft situations: Commerce Banc paid $18.3 million; Bank of America was asked to pay $410 million to settle unfair overdraft fees charges.

Now go back to 2010. Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) was ordered to pay $203 million by a California court to compensate customers suing over unfair overdraft fees.

JON C. OGG

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