The FDIC’s guidance on overdraft fees may be less strict than many bankers feared, according to the agency’s recently published FAQs on supervisory guidance, which was issued by the agency in November.
One provision that caused some concern, for example, requires banks to monitor customers’ accounts for excessive use of overdraft protection (more than six overdrafts in a 12-month period) and take “meaningful” steps to advise those customers on less costly alternatives. The supervisory guidance suggested that this would require a face-to-face meeting or phone call with the customer.
The FDIC clarifies that banks have other options for meeting these obligations, including “enhanced periodic statements.” These statements alert a customer to multiple overdraft fees and provide contact information for a customer service representative who can supply information about cheaper alternatives.
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