Senator Reverend Warnock Urges Regulators, Executives of Major Banks to Set Moratorium on Overdraft Fees in Wake of Bank Failures

Senator Reverend Warnock urged federal regulators, including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, as well as 10 major banks to pause overdraft and nonsufficient fund fees 

Senator Reverend Warnock is calling on the pause for those that may have incurred onerous overdraft fees at no fault of their own due to the aftermath of the Silicon Valley Bank failure

Senators Reverend Warnock and Booker to federal regulators: “We urge you to place a brief moratorium—while the disruption in payments is resolved—on overdraft and nonsufficient fund fees for those that may have incurred these costly fees at no fault of their own”

Senators Reverend Warnock and Booker to 10 banks: “We urge you to take action to assist Americans whose payments were delayed or missing in recent days as a result of the bank failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank”

Senators Reverend Warnock and Booker to 10 banks: “Every single overdraft fee is paid by someone who ran out of money in their bank account. People living on the financial edge deserve protection from the consequences of bank misconduct”

ICYMI from CNBC: “Sens. Booker, Warnock press big bank CEOs to pause overdraft fees after SVB failure” 

ICYMI from The Hill: “Sens. Cory Booker and Raphael Warnock sent letters to 10 large banks and federal regulators […], urging them to pause overdraft fees in the aftermath of recent U.S. bank failures”

Washington D.C. — This week, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), along with U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), urged regulators to set a temporary moratorium on overdraft and nonsufficient fund fees and urged the CEOs of the ten banks generating the most revenue from these fees to waive them for their customers. The Senators’ action comes after the failures of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank this month, which led to disruptions across the financial sector. The Senators noted that associated delayed payments and payroll processing could lead to further financial distress for Americans impacted by the closures, who may incur more than $100 a day in low account balance fees or up to $175 a day in overdraft fees.

“We write to urge you to provide relief for American consumers that are facing financial distress due to the disruption in payments by their financial institutions and payroll processors,” said Senators Warnock and Booker to the Federal Reserve, National Credit Union Administration, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. “Just as banking regulators stepped in to prevent further contagion in the banking system and to protect depositors at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank, we urge you to take action to assist those Americans whose payments were delayed or missing in recent days as a result of these bank failures. In particular, we urge you to place a moratorium on overdraft and nonsufficient fund fees for those that may have incurred these costly fees at no fault of their own.”

“We urge you to take action to assist Americans whose payments were delayed or missing in recent days as a result of the bank failures of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank,” said Senators Warnock and Booker to CEOs of Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Citizens Bank, Truist Bank, TD Bank, Regions Bank, PNC Bank, Huntington National Bank, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. “In particular, we urge you to cease charging overdraft and nonsufficient fund fees for those that may have incurred these costly fees at no fault of their own.”

This is the latest action in Senator Warnock’s leadership in pushing to lower bank fees for Georgians. In October, Senator Warnock’s work to curb predatory bank fees gained significant momentum following the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) announcement that the agency would take steps to protect Georgians from junk fees, including surprise overdraft fees. In September, Senator Warnock directly pushed the heads of Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase & Co., U.S. Bancorp, and the PNC Financial Services Group to eliminate onerous and confusing overdraft fees. In May, as chair of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, Senator Warnock examined the financial services industry’s practices and innovations around overdraft fees and the negative effects those fees have on hardworking families. And, in March, Senator Warnock led a series of letters to major banks urging them to lower or fully eliminate their overdraft fees. 

The 10 banks receiving Senators Warnock and Booker’s letter generated the largest amount of revenue from overdraft / insufficient funds fees in the US in 2021.

The letter to banking regulators can be found here.

The letter to PNC Bank can be found here.

The letter to Regions Financial Corporation can be found here.

The letter to Bank of America can be found here

The letter to TD Bank can be found here

The letter to Citizens Bank can be found here

The letter to Truist can be found here.

The letter to Huntington National Bank can be found here

The letter to US Bank can be found here

The letter to JP Morgan Chase can be found here

The letter to Wells Fargo can be found here


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