CFPB issues request for information on excessive fees

On January 26, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a statement announcing that it had launched an initiative to reduce what it calls “junk fees.” The CFPB explained that junk fees can disguise a product’s true cost, which hinders a competitive market. The CFPB noted that, in 2019, there were over $14 billion in punitive late fees charged to customers by the major credit card companies. The CFPB also noted that, in 2019, overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees contributed to over $15 billion in bank revenue.

In tandem with the statement, the CFPB filed a Request for Information (RFI). The CFPB is requesting comments regarding fees not subject to “competitive processes that ensure fair pricing.” The RFI provides the following examples of products and markets that it considers subject to junk fees.

Deposit Accounts

The CFPB notes that while the amount of NSF and overdraft fees exceeded $15 billion in 2019, account maintenance fees only made up around $1 billion in fees. One of the CFPB’s concern here is that while a customer understands what they will be paying in account maintenance fees when they open an account, the customer will not understand how much they will end up paying in overdraft and NSF fees.


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