News Release

MASSPIRG Commends CFPB For Protecting Massachusetts Consumers From Illegal Overdraft Practices By Santander Bank -- Offers Tips for All Consumers To Avoid Paying Hefty Debit Card Overdraft Fees

For Immediate Release

Statement of Deirdre Cummings,  Consumer Program Director

“We commend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for imposing a $10 million fine on Santander Bank for deceiving Massachusetts and other consumers into signing up for optional overdraft protection. Its so-called “Account Protector” product allows them to charge you $35 for the so-called privilege of over-drafting your debit card for a $3 cup of coffee.

All consumers, no matter where they bank, should understand that they cannot be charged overdraft fees on their debit card unless they affirmatively sign up for, that is opt-in for, Account Protector or similar so-called “Standard Overdraft Protection” products. The default protection by law is that you are automatically protected from debit card overdraft fees. The bank can choose to either decline your transaction or even to pay it with no fees. Why should you pay $38 for a $3 cup of coffee anyway? Check your bank statements. If you are paying overdraft fees for using your debit card, opt-out now. If you think you were tricked into signing up for the optional, over-priced service, complain to”


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