Lawmakers praised announcements by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. that they would ease overdraft-fee programs, but said it would not stop efforts to enact restrictions into law.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, who is expected to introduce a bill soon that would require banks to let their customers opt in for the service rather than be enrolled automatically, said he will continue to pursue legislation.
"These are positive changes, but the system has gotten completely out of whack," Dodd said. "We are talking about abusive practices that never should have been instituted in the first place. I will take a close look at the banks' new policies as I continue work on a bill to permanently protect customers from excessive overdraft fees."
Chase announced Wednesday that it would not charge overdraft fees unless a customer opted in to the service and eliminate fees if a customer's account is $5 or less overdrawn. The bank said it would reduce the number of overdraft fees per day to three from six.
Bank of America said that beginning Oct. 19, it will not charge overdraft fees when a customer's account is overdrawn by a total of $10 or less, and would not charge such fees more than four times a day. Beginning in June of next year, the bank will introduce an annual limit on overdraft fees and contact companies that are close to the limit.
Wells said it would eliminate overdraft fees for customers when they overdraw their accounts by $5 or less and will charge no more than four overdraft fees per day. Wells' customers will be able to opt out of overdraft coverage, the bank said.