Schumer Calls For Federal Probe of ATM Fees, Which Continue to Skyrocket

Written by Long Island News & PR  |  14. October 2015

Albany, NY - October 13, 2015 - Today, U. S. Senator Charles E. Schumer called on the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau Director Richard Cordray to address the growing problem of consumers being hit with outrageous ATM fees when withdrawing money from out-of-network ATM terminals. Schumer pointed to a new industry report that says ATM fees have jumped 21 percent over the last five years, continuing a troubling trend of the past decade. At an average of $5.03—and as high as $8—New Yorkers are now paying the second highest average ATM fees in the nation. Nationally, the average ATM fee is at a record high of $4.52 per transaction. Schumer said that consumers should not have to pay more, potentially as much as $8, when withdrawing their own, hard-earned money before they even receive their receipt.  

Before holiday shopping season is in full force, Schumer is urging the federal government to investigate this pernicious practice. Schumer is calling on the CFPB to crackdown on exorbitant out-of-network ATM fees and launch a federal probe into these indiscriminate fees that have been rising for years. In fact, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), U.S. banks collected over $34 billion in fees just last year, which includes fees paid by ATM users.

“When it comes to ATMs and the service they provide, we have somehow gotten to the point where a fast stop at the corner could eat your lunch money,” said Senator Schumer. “Consumers from New York and across the country shouldn’t be forced to fork over up to $8, when trying to withdraw $20 of their own, hard-earned money. As holiday shopping season fast approaches, the CFPB should launch an investigation into the overall problem of rising and indiscriminate ATM fees, which have skyrocketed more than 20 percent in the past five years. In today’s economy, every penny counts and to charge individuals sky-high fees for accessing their own money—often when they need quick or unexpected cash-- is simply unfair and inappropriate.”

According to an independent report released October 5th, the average fee for using an out-of-network ATM has risen four percent over the past year and is now at $4.52 nationally. In fact, ATM fees have risen 21 percent over the past five years. Atlanta has the nation’s highest average ATM fees at $5.15. According to the report, New York has the second highest average ATM fees at $5.03 but consumers could see ATM fees as much as $8. On the other hand, San Francisco has the lowest average ATM fee at $3.85. The report was issued by Bankrate.com.

Schumer explained that many Americans turn to ATMs for the convenience of 24-hour access to their money, but as banks, merchants, and independent ATM owners continue to slam customers with sky-high fees, the costs of that convenience are beginning to make customers second-guess whether the benefits are worth it. Therefore, Schumer is urging the CFPB to address the issue of rising out-of-network ATM fees. Specifically, Schumer said that the CFPB should investigate these practices before holiday shopping season is underway. Schumer said that as holiday shopping season approaches, consumers all over the country will be withdrawing money to purchase gifts for their family, friends and loved ones and so, the federal government should crackdown on ATM fees that continue to rise with no end in sight.

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