ICBA Rejects President Biden’s Misleading Remarks on ‘Junk Fees’ During State of the Union Address

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 7, 2023) — Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey issued the following statement on President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.

“ICBA and the nation’s community banks continue to reject President Biden’s mischaracterization of overdraft protection services and credit card fees for late payments as ‘junk fees.’ Such language misrepresents the overdraft protection services that banks offer their customers and how community banks meet the credit card needs of their customers.

“Community banks provide a wide range of products and services that customers may select to address situations in which they’ve overdrawn their account, including overdraft programs, free ad hoc solutions, alerts about their account status, account transfers, and more. Community banks offer credit cards under contracts that consumers voluntarily enter into and that feature clearly disclosed late fees that deter late payments, help offset issuer costs, and represent a small portion of customers’ credit card costs.

“Given these realities, current community bank practices are appropriate and do not constitute surprise ‘junk fees,’ despite the misrepresentation of the community bank business model by President Biden and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. ICBA and the nation’s nearly 5,000 community bankers intend to continue working with the administration to mitigate the negative impact of CFPB rulemakings and to avoid further mischaracterizations.”

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.

With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute roughly 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5.8 trillion in assets, over $4.8 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.5 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.