One Year After Reg E Opt-In Rule, 77% Have Signed On

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LAKE BLUFF, Ill. — One year following the implementation of Reg E-opt-in for debit card and ATM overdrafts — and 77% of checking account users have given consent.

That is one of the findings of a just-released survey by economic research firm, Moebs Services. Polling for the survey was conducted in June.

"This is over 100 million checking account consumers, more than voted in the interim election in November 2010. Some 45.4% of institutions offered debit card overdrafts prior to the start of Reg E last summer, now 97.7% do, and ATM overdrafts were 61.9% in 2011, more than in 2010 at 35.2%," noted Michael Moebs, economist and CEO, of Moebs Services. "This shows the consumer treats overdrafts as a safety net, not a penalty."

The study also found:

• Depositories have maintained the price for an overdraft transaction at a national median of $28 since the summer of 2010.

• Wall Street banks lowered the price of an overdraft transaction to $34 I n 2011, down from $35 in 2010.

• NSF return fees increased to $28 in 2011 from $27 in 2010.

According to Moebs, the study revealed two contradictory findings. "Since the implementation of Reg E in August 2010, more depository institutions are allowing consumers to overdraft their checking accounts with debit cards. During this same period, we found that institutions offering automatic transfer from a savings account or a line of credit for overdraft protection decreased."

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