Statement on Wells Fargo’s response to “Debit Cards on Campus” report

Media Contacts

WASHINGTON — After being asked to comment on U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s report on oversized fees on college students’ checking accounts, Wells Fargo announced that it would be eliminating some fees on its campus debit cards.

U.S. PIRG’s Higher Education Campaign director Kaitlyn Vitez issued the following statement in response:

“Wells Fargo’s announcement is a first step, but it can and should do more to help students, some of whom could still end up paying hundreds of dollars in fees. According to its own press release, student fees will only be cut in half — which still leaves Wells Fargo as one of the most expensive campus debit card option for students out of all the banks in our study.

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends that a “safe and affordable” debit card should have no overdraft fees and should offer fee-free ATM access, among other protections. Wells Fargo and other banks should meet that standard, and we continue to urge the Department of Education to investigate paid marketing agreements between banks and colleges that push students into accounts with hidden fees.”

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U.S. PIRG Education Fund is an independent, non-partisan group that works for consumers and the public interest. Through research, public education and outreach, we serve as counterweights to the influence of powerful special interests that threaten our health, safety or well-being. U.S. PIRG Education Fund is part of The Public Interest Network, which runs organizations committed to our vision of a better world, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to getting things done.

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