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NYDFS issues check-cashing fee regulations

State Issues Bank Regulatory New York NYDFS State Regulators Check Cashing Fees

State Issues

On January 18, NYDFS announced that it has adopted an updated check cashing regulation. As previously covered by InfoBytes, NYDFS issued a proposed check cashing regulation in June 2022, following an emergency regulation announced in February 2022, that halted annual increases on check-cashing fees and locked the current maximum fee set last February at 2.27 percent (covered by InfoBytes here). The regulation establishes a new fee methodology that evaluates the needs of licensees and consumers who use check cashing services. Two tiers of fees for licensed check cashers are recommended: (i) the maximum fee that a check casher may charge for a public assistance check issued by a federal or state government agency (including checks for Social Security, unemployment, retirement, veteran’s benefits, emergency relief, housing assistance, or tax refunds) is set at 1.5 percent; and (ii) the maximum fee a check casher is permitted to charge for all other checks, drafts, or money orders is $1 or 2.2 percent, whichever is greater. According to NYDFS Superintendent Adrienne Harris, “the existing fee methodology wasn’t just outdated, but inappropriate and punitive to consumers.” She further noted that “[c]heck cashers should not be entitled to automatic, annual fee increases.”