Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Letter to CFPB on Overdraft Survey
Posted November 02, 2015 by CUNA Advocacy
The CFPB is currently reviewing the current model form disclosure of overdraft programs, to identify whether alternative content or designs of the form may better support consumer comprehension and decision-making. As part of its review, the CFPB plans to develop a consumer survey to collect information on whether consumers could benefit from overdraft disclosures at the point of sale and ATMs. As is required by law, the CFPB is seeking approval of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to develop such a survey.

Today, we submitted a letter to the agency, urging them to open the survey up to public comment before it is used.  We understand that the CFPB is still in the process of developing this survey. However, since overdraft protection is such an important service to so many credit union members, we reiterated concerns that we have previously shared with the CFPB. 

As the Bureau contemplates whether new rules are needed for overdraft protection programs, we urged it to continue its thorough approach to ensure it has obtained all relevant information. Further, we encouraged the CFPB to continue to study overdraft so that it can gain a better understanding of the benefits consumers derive from this product, and the differences between the overdraft products offered by credit unions and other financial institutions. 

In the spirit of gathering as much data as possible to make more informed decisions, we support the Bureau's efforts to contact consumers directly through a survey. However we believe it is critical that the public have an opportunity to comment on a draft survey before it is used. 

We also urged the Bureau to recognize that the services offered by credit unions, such as overdraft programs, do have associated costs. It is reasonable for credit unions to assess appropriate fees for such services, particularly in light of the fact that at a credit union, costs incurred by the institution are borne by its members.