Banks made billions in sneaky overdraft fees last year

2016 marked a comeback for overdraft fees on checking accounts: Last year they generated $33.3 billion in revenue for banks and financial firms—the highest level since 2009.

Citing economic research firm Moebs Services, The Wall Street Journal reports that’s a rise of 2.5% from 2015 and 5.45% from 2011.

Consumers incur overdraft fees when they make a purchase or transaction that is larger than their checking-account balance, the Journal notes. Though banks will almost always cover the insufficiency, the consumer is still charged a fee for overdrawing in the first place—even if they can’t afford it.

Madeline Farber

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