Banks push overdraft protection before deadline

    With new rules, banks can’t force customers into the protection. But overdraft fees have been a solid source of revenue.

    Banks across the nation are making a last minute push to enroll customers in their overdraft protection programs. Starting Sunday banks will have to decline customers’ withdrawal requests at ATM’s unless they give express permission to banks to let them overdraw their accounts for a fee.

    Some Philadelphians walking out of a center city bank at lunch hour said they’ll opt-in and pay a fee for overdrafting. Others, like Philadelphia resident Roberta Thomas, say no way.

    “I think it’s just another example of how banks rip us off all the time.”

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    Some banks have made pitches to customers to stay enrolled in overdraft protection. But Cherry Hill based TD Bank Spokeswoman Rebecca Acevedo says her company is simply making customers aware of their options.

    “We have been working to reach out to our customers since early May, and so we will just continue that program, you know, whatever channel works best to reach our customers, whether it’s the letters, the inserts, or things of that nature.”

    It’s estimated banks make billions of dollars from overdraft fees, and some banks are adding new or increased fees on other services to make up for the projected shortfall. According to a recent survey, about 26 percent of Americans want to keep overdraft protection.

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