New credit card and overdraft restrictions will save U.S. consumers from being charged at least $5 billion in fees this year alone at the largest U.S. retail banks and credit card companies, a USA TODAY analysis reveals.
The analysis — based on institutions' own estimates — comes during a year when new rules are kicking in to address unfair credit card rate increases and steep bank overdraft fees. It highlights the sizable dent these rules will have on an industry blamed for pushing consumers deeper into distress during the recession.
In recent years, banks made it easier for consumers to overdraw their bank accounts and raised credit card fees and rates. As consumer outcry swelled in the recession, Congress passed a credit card law and the Federal Reserve issued a regulation to crack down on banks' aggressive overdraft policies on debit cards.