Some banks are seeing the light and are trying to bring fee prices down. Moebs says that more than 30% of financial institutions surveyed changed their overdraft fees, with 14% of them reducing fee price tags. But it’s really a matter of bank size. Credit unions are averaging $25 per overdraft fee, while big banks (those with more than $50 billion in assets) have fee averages of $33.50, according to the survey.
Those figures could swing more consumers into the credit union camp.
“More and more banks and credit unions are lowering the price of overdrafts,” Moebs says. “This decision bodes well for these institutions as they try to reclaim lost market share to payday lenders, who only charge consumers a median price of $17.50. The closer financial institutions get to payday lenders, the more consumers will bank with Main Street institutions, and rely less on payday lenders and the mega banks during this difficult economy."
For now, big banks will keep looking for creative ways to keep the overdraft fee gravy train rolling. But pressure from smaller banks, along with tighter regulations from the U.S. government, may finally slow that train down.