The Bank Slate


Wintrust latest bank to cut consumer overdraft fees

Add another regional bank to the list of financial institutions doing away with overdraft fees for consumer accounts.

Wintrust Financial in Rosemont, Ill., said in a press release that it also eliminated item return fees. Business accounts will remain under the existing overdraft and item return fee structure.

“Given the number of ways to engage customers through technology, the industry continues to move toward the use of financial education and notifications and away from account fees,” Timothy Crane, the $53 billion-asset Wintrust’s president, said in the release.

“With real-time notifications and other tools accessible 24/7, we have seen a decrease in overdrafts and item returns as our customers can remedy those situations before they occur,” Crane added. “We believe that eliminating these charges … and working with our consumer banking clients when low balances occur will strengthen our relationships with them.”

The financial impact of the changes should be “relatively small” at roughly $4 million annually, John Rodis, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott, said in a research note.

Wintrust said that later this year it will let consumer customers with direct deposit receive qualifying payroll and government-direct deposits up to two days early at no cost.

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