In Tough Financial Times, It's Good to Know Someone Is Making a Buck
Overdraft-Fee Revenue Up 35 Percent, Study Says Bank Customers Paid $23.7 Billion In Charges in 2008
By Nancy Trejos Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The revenue that banks and credit unions generate by letting customers overspend their accounts, then charging them a fee, increased 35 percent in two years, the Center for Responsible Lending reports in a study released Tuesday.
Culling figures gathered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the consumer advocacy group found that customers paid $23.7 billion in overdraft fees in 2008, up $6.2 billion from two years before.
In the past 12 months, an estimated 51 million Americans spent more than they had in their checking accounts, triggering either an overdraft or a non-sufficient-funds fee, the study found.
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Well, that's a hunk of change, no doubt about it. 51 million of us. That's a hell of a profit base, $450 or so on average across almost 14% of the population.
Who wouldn't want a piece of that action?
Lucky Luciano, the fabled Mafia boss of bosses is said to have quipped, after a tour of the NY Stock Exchange, that "I realized I'd joined the wrong mob."