More banks dropping overdraft fees


The dam is breaking.

Just a few days after Bank of America and Chase announced that they're revamping the way they charge for overdrafts, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank are getting in on the action.

Wells Fargo, which owns Wachovia Bank, will no longer have overdraft fees for people who overdraw their accounts by $5 or less, and they'll charge no more than four overdraft fees a day. Then on the heels of that announce came this one:

U.S. Bank, which is the sixth largest bank in the nation and in 24 states, will get rid of overdraft fees if you overdraw your account by less than $10. They're going to limit the charges to three, and maybe a few, a day. They'll also let customers opt out of a transaction, if possible, when the charge may overdraft their account. U.S. Bank's policy, however, won't change until January.

This is long coming. As regular readers of WalletPop likely know, I've been writing about overdraft charges for some time. So it's nice to see that the banks are finally feeling the pressure exerted on them by customers and lawmakers alike.

What I love reading are the statements that the banks put out when announcing these changes. "We continually assess the environment in which we serve our customers," said Richard Davis, president, chairman and CEO of U.S. Bank, "and we have come to the conclusion that adjustments in our approach to service charges, customer choice and customer information are warranted."

The key phrase in that one, for me, is "we continually assess the environment..." Yep, they knew that customers would likely flee their U.S. Bank for Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo or Wachovia if they didn't change their policy pronto.

It makes one wonder what bank will be next.