LSCU meets with Treasury to protect overdraft services

March 2, 2023

League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) met with Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Graham Steelethis week to discuss the importance of overdraft and insufficient funds programs. 

LSCU and member credit unions felt it imperative to educate key regulatory leaders about the services that these fees provide to consumers all over the country following concerning statements made about the future of overdraft services and fees from the President’s Administration and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

“Efforts to restrict critical overdraft services may inhibit credit unions from helping members overcome unexpected financial emergencies and turn consumers to more predatory alternatives,” noted Samantha Beeler, LSCU president. “Credit unions across the southeast are committed to providing members the lowest possible rates and fees, along with the best services. We are proud of the work of credit unions to support their members and put them on a path to financial success, and we will continue to work with the Administration to ensure they understand the necessity of these programs.”

Following a member survey at the beginning of 2023, LSCU discovered that the majority of credit unions in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia have made considerable changes to overdraft and insufficient funds fee programs in the last three years without regulation or legislation, proving the credit union willingness to meet the needs of members and the community.

These changes include reducing fees, eliminating transfer fees, promoting alert balances for low balances, reducing the number of times a fee can be charged over a set period, and more. Additionally, 96% of credit unions allow balance transfers from savings to checking accounts as a first measure, resulting in no overdraft fees for members. Moreover, 94% of credit unions offer financial counseling and education to frequent users.

Despite false narratives from certain congressional and regulatory leaders, overdraft services are implemented to benefit and assist the credit union member, and the decision to utilize these programs is strictly the informed decision of the member.

Credit union representatives in the meeting included Tim Antonition, CEO of Space Coast Credit Union, Samantha Beeler, President of LSCU, Brad Green, CEO of Listerhill Credit Union, Cecilia Homison, CEO of First Commerce Credit Union, Kevin Johnson, CEO of Suncoast Credit Union, Laura King, EVP/COO for Georgia United Credit Union, Grace Newcombe, Senior Director of Federal Advocacy for LSCU, Christina O’Brien, CEO of Robins Financial Credit Union, Maggie Sayer, CEO of Keys Federal Credit Union, Rick Skaggs, CEO of USF Federal Credit Union, Alan Stabler, EVP/CAO and General Counsel for America’s First Federal Credit Union, Bob Steensma, CEO of Five Star Credit Union, and Steve Swofford, CEO of Alabama Credit Union.