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The Hidden Fees Joe Biden Wants To Eliminate Hit The Poor The Hardest



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As President Joe Biden’s administration strikes to ban so-called “junk charges,” a brand new examine has discovered that the banks reliant on these hidden costs overwhelmingly function in low-income components of the nation.

The study from the progressive public curiosity group Accountable.US appeared on the 20 banks in the US that generate the biggest share of their revenue from service costs. It discovered almost 60% of their branches are positioned in counties the place the poverty fee is greater than the nationwide common, and 72% of their branches are in counties the place the median revenue is decrease than the nationwide common.

The Client Monetary Safety Bureau introduced a broad evaluation of “junk charges” ― resembling charges for late fee, ATMs and overdrafts ― in January 2022. Biden picked up the baton last week, showing alongside CFPB Director Rohit Chopra to announce a brand new rule sharply limiting bank card late charges.

And he continued the message throughout Tuesday evening’s State of the Union deal with, noting his administration is about to chop the typical bank card late charge from $31 to $8.

“Junk charges might not matter to the very rich, however they matter to most people in properties just like the one I grew up in,” Biden stated. “They add as much as tons of of {dollars} a month.”

Lots of the banks on the Accountable.US listing are smaller regional operations with a handful of branches, however two bigger banks ― TD Financial institution and Areas Financial institution ― are additionally on the listing. TD Financial institution attracts 9.3% of its working income from service costs affiliated with buyer deposits, whereas Areas Financial institution takes in 6.8% of its income via these costs.

“Make no mistake: these twenty banks would nonetheless be worthwhile with out nickel and diming low-income households underneath this exploitative apply,” stated Liz Zelnick, the director of financial safety and company energy at Accountable.US. “Our analysis demonstrates an intentional and predatory apply of establishing in low-income communities and charging exorbitant charges.”

Overdraft charges, particularly, goal the poorest banking prospects, who’re way more probably to attract down their accounts than the better-off. A CFPB examine beforehand discovered simply 5% of financial institution accounts accounted for almost two-thirds of overdraft charges.

The CFPB introduced plans to crack down on overdraft charges in October, following the September announcement of $191 million penalty for Areas Financial institution, most of it going to repay prospects.

“The Biden administration’s first main step in the direction of junking junk charges is a win-win for working households and the financial system,” Zelnick stated.