Nussle: Broad classification of ‘junk fees’ in SOTU will hurt consumers

February 7, 2023

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle issued the following statement in response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday.

“The president’s use of the term ‘junk fee’ is overly broad and ignores the needs of low-income and middle-income consumers who depend on these services to resolve short-term financial difficulties. It does not consider the costs involved in providing needed financial services that consumers depend on. Most importantly, consumers must opt-in to having the option of overdraft protection, and the cost to use it. The people who choose to use the service are the people who pay for the service.  

“Credit unions believe in empowering consumers to manage their finances – and this includes giving them the choice to access a variety of services if they need them. Consumers use overdraft protection as a safety net – protecting them from life’s challenges.  

“Credit unions are constantly adapting overdraft programs to better address the financial well-being of their members. We work with our members to help address those financial challenges and avoid fees if they choose. Without the option of overdraft protection – people are more likely to turn to predatory lenders, hurting the same people the administration seeks to help.”