“Surprise” Fee Restrictions
In conjunction with a Presidential speech and new White House initiative against “junk fees,” the CFPB has accelerated its own efforts in this arena with two new policy directives. As with many other recent Bureau actions, the new circular and bulletin do not take the form of notice-and-comment rulemakings, but rather are directives with express enforcement implications unless or until the courts overturn them, the General Accounting Office intervenes to bar guidance outside the rulemaking process as it did years ago related to inter-agency leveraged-loan standards, or new law reconfigures the agency. The most immediate implication of these edicts is a ban on blanket rejected deposit fees and further constraints on overdraft fees. However, the reasoning and rationale in these orders is likely to carry over to a pending agency rulemaking on credit-card fees and possible initiatives related to remittances and even debit- or credit-card interchange fees.