Merkley sponsors overdraft bill

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, has lent his support to a bill that would protect bank customers from excessive overdraft fees.

The Fairness and Accountability in Receiving Overdraft Coverage Act would require banks to gain customer consent before enrolling them in overdraft protection programs, limit the number of overdraft coverage fees banks can charge to one per month and six per year and require fees to be proportional to the cost of processing the overdraft.

The bill would also “stop institutions from manipulating the order in which they post transactions in order to rack up extra fees,” according to a release from Merkley’s office.

Merkley is a first-year member of the Senate’s Banking Committee.

“With these stealth overdraft fees, banks reach in and take money out of the wallets of hardworking Americans,” he said in a statement. “These fees are not transparent, they’re not fair, and they need to end.”

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