Republicans press U.S. consumer watchdog to stop regulating overdraft fees

By Elvina Nawaguna WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican lawmakers at a hearing on Tuesday said that the U.S. consumer watchdog should stop limiting the way banks charge overdraft protection fees even as the agency considers tighter regulations on the practice. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has sounded the alarm on overdraft fees, saying they take advantage of often low-income people and could lead to account closures. Republicans on the committee that oversees financial services disagree, and Texas Representative Randy Neugebauer plans to introduce a bill later this week to replace the agency’s director with a five-person commission appointed by the president. Overdraft fees on checking accounts average $34, and are mostly incurred on transactions of $24 or less, according to the agency.

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