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June 2, 2021

Better Markets Applauds Ally Bank for Eliminating Overdraft Fees That Punish the Poorest and Most Vulnerable Americans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 2, 2021
Contact: Pamela Russell at 202-618-6433 or prussell@bettermarkets.com

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Dennis Kelleher, Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets, applauds Ally Bank’s action today to eliminate all overdraft fees:

We applaud Ally Bank for eliminating all overdraft fees on all accounts effective immediately without requirements or restrictions.  We hope other so-called industry leaders will follow Ally’s example and eliminate punishing overdraft fees.  Ally spoke inconvenient and painful truths in its announcement today when it said

  • “Nationwide, more than 80% of overdraft fees are paid by consumers living paycheck to paycheck or with consistently low balances – precisely the people who need help stabilizing their finances.  Eliminating these fees help keep people from falling further behind and feeling penalized as they catch up.”
  • “Ninety-five percent of the consumers who paid $12.4 billion in overdraft fees in 2020 were ‘financially vulnerable’ and disproportionately Black and Latinx….  Among those vulnerable households with checking accounts, 43% averaged 9.6 overdrafts during 2020, resulting in annual overdraft fees of hundreds of dollars per household on average.”

“It’s unconscionable for extremely profitable banks, which have been repeatedly bailed out by taxpayers, to take billions of dollars out of the pockets of their poorest and most vulnerable customers by charging overdraft fees.  Ally’s action today shows they are taking their ‘Do It Right” commitment seriously and, importantly, that the bank is willing to put its money where its mouth is by putting people over profits.”   

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Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.com.

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