Eighty-two percent of bank customers did not pay an overdraft fee in the previous twelve months, according to a new survey by the American Bankers Association. That figure is up two percent from 2008.
“Once again, consumers have shown they can manage their bank accounts well and avoid paying fees,” said Nessa Feddis, ABA senior federal counsel and retail banking expert.
Of those who did pay an overdraft fee in the past 12 months, almost all (96 percent) said they were glad the payment was covered.
On the question of whether banks can manage their accounts well, Feddis was silent. Perhaps they threw TARP over her.
It occurred to me that I have no idea what would happen if I overdrew my checking account, and I’m not particularly interested in finding out. I opened this account in 1975; it’s survived through two bank mergers, one routing-code change, and the general disappearance of the abacus. During this time I can recall exactly one bounced check, though I can remember some fairly complicated between-account maneuvers over the years to keep this sort of thing from happening. I seem to recall, vaguely, that once they offered me (on their Web site, somewhere in the bill-paying process) some sort of “overdraft protection,” which I didn’t sign up for, so I assume if I exceed my actual balance, they’ll actually send the check back. There’s a fee for that, too, but there’s a fee for just about everything up to and including walking through the front door.
(Suggested by Don Mecoy.)