June 18, 2019

Hunt: CUs are solution to overdraft issues

HuntAs the debate on overdraft protection continues, NAFCU's Carrie Hunt says credit unions can serve as the solution to the perceived flaws of this vital resource in an op-ed for CU Today.

Hunt, NAFCU's executive vice president of government affairs and general counsel, notes that many consumers want overdraft protection services and credit unions "are uniquely situated to offer these products in a responsible and conscientious manner."

"Banks, on the other hand, have a track record of abusing consumers with high fees in this area," Hunt argues.

When credit unions offer a product to member, they often couple it with financial literacy programs to ensure members are well informed to make the right decision for their financial needs.

"Credit unions also offer consumer-friendly alternatives to overdraft – such as overdraft lines of credit and account linking – in order to help members meet their financial needs and day-to-day expenses," Hunt writes. "Even during hard economic times, consumers deserve peace of mind that they can pay their bills or buy groceries without fear of a returned check or declined transaction."

In light of the CFPB's announcement that it plans to review its 2009 overdraft rule, Hunt cautions that while regulatory clarity can offset frivolous litigation, a review of this rule could lead to overregulation.

Read Hunt's op-ed here.