On February 3, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sent a letter to the nation’s top 25 retail banking companies urging them to do more to create or promote deposit accounts designed to meet consumers’ financial needs. The CFPB is urging banks and credit unions to offer consumers accounts that do not authorize them to spend money they don’t have. Separately, the CFPB is weighing what additional consumer protections are necessary for overdraft and related services. The CFPB recommendations include the following:

  • Offer lower-risk products that are designed not to authorize overdrafts and that do not charge overdraft fees. A number of institutions have introduced “no-overdraft” accounts and offer them alongside more common checking account products. However, in a recent CFPB review of the top retail banking websites, the CFPB found nearly half do not appear to offer any deposit account that ensures consumers can’t overspend. Such a product would give consumers an opportunity to choose an account that helps them avoid overdrafting.
  • Advertise lower-risk products prominently in marketing efforts, online and in-store checking account menus, and during sales consultations.

To see the CFPB letter, click here.