Statement: U.S. PIRG joins Rep. Maloney and Sens. Booker and Warren for press conference on predatory overdraft fees

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Legislators, advocates working toward laws to protect customers

WASHINGTON — Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (NY) and Sens. Cory Booker (NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (MA) were joined by Mike Litt, U.S. PIRG’s consumer campaign director, and other advocates Tuesday to urge action on legislation to protect financial institutions’ customers from predatory overdraft fees.

Congresswoman Maloney is the lead sponsor of the Overdraft Protection Act of 2021, which would limit financial institutions to charging a maximum of one overdraft fee per month and six per year, among other reforms. Sen. Booker is the lead sponsor and Sen. Warren is the lead cosponsor of a fairly similar bill, the Stop Overdraft Profiteering Act of 2021, in the Senate.

Mike Litt, U.S. PIRG’s consumer campaign director, issued the following statement:

“Financial institutions rake in billions of dollars a year from these overly punitive overdraft fees, which mostly penalize customers with the least money to lose. Many banks commonly charge about $35 per overdraft, sometimes 3 to 6 times in a single day.

“So-called ‘overdraft protection’ is a misnomer. Consumers need overdraft fee protection — limits on the number of overdraft fees that can be charged per month and per year. The Overdraft Protection Act and the Stop Overdraft Profiteering Act would relieve stressful and unfair financial burdens for millions of Americans.”