Bank customers fork over $15 billion in fees

Personal Finance

Most Americans would rather not shell out extra cash to their bank in overdraft fees. Sadly, many still do.

Altogether, Americans paid $15 billion in fees for bounced checks and other overdrafts last year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has said.

Almost half of Americans who’ve had a checking account have been charged an overdraft fee at some point. In fact, the average consumer overdrafts more than twice a year and coughs up $35 in fees each time, according to a study released Tuesday by personal finance website NerdWallet.

Those who overdraw frequently waste much more, to the tune of $442 a year, according to NerdWallet’s analysis of CFPB data. (For some banks, overdraft revenues are a significant part of their income, despite the Federal Reserve’s 2010 regulations that sought to bar them from assessing these fees unless customers have opted into an overdraft protection program.)

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