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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

CFPB reports drop in overdraft/NSF revenue from pre-pandemic levels

Federal Issues CFPB Overdraft Consumer Finance NSF Fees

Federal Issues

On February 7, the CFPB published a “Data Spotlight” reporting that bank overdraft/non-sufficient fund (NSF) fee revenue has declined significantly compared to pre-pandemic levels. According to the Bureau, recent analysis found that overdraft/NSF fee revenue (i) was 43 percent lower in the third quarter of 2022 than in the third quarter of 2019 (representing a suggested decrease of $5.1 billion in fees on an annualized basis); (ii) was 33 percent lower over the first three quarters of 2022 when compared to the same period in 2019; and (iii) has declined each quarter since the fourth quarter of 2021. The report presented snapshots of overdraft/NSF fee revenue by quarter between Q1 2019 and Q3 2022, and discussed changes in banks’ consumer deposit account revenue from other listed fees. The Bureau observed that there has been a lack of correlating increases in other listed checking account fees, which may suggest that banks are not replacing overdraft/NSF fee revenue with other checking account fees such as periodic maintenance fees and ATM fees. The Bureau noted that it will continue to monitor overdraft/NSF fees and said it is considering related rulemaking activities. The agency announced it also intends to track other listed account fees to determine whether and to what extent these fees may be creating barriers to account access.

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