BAYTOWN, Texas-JMFA here, which offers an Overdraft Privilege program that is utilized by numerous credit unions, issued this statement through its PR firm, Hagen & Partners, in response to Credit Union Journal's inquiries related to its program:

"With the increased attention on overdraft strategies that are harmful to consumers, credit unions can avoid regulatory and legal scrutiny by implementing a clearly defined overdraft program that guarantees full compliance. This includes transparency regarding reasonable fees, overdraft limits and posting order-along with clear, simple account holder disclosures that explain how the program works.

"In today's economy, consumers often need a financial safety net to get them through an emergency. A fully disclosed overdraft program can provide that peace of mind to informed consumers who want to avoid more costly sources of funds and multiple merchant penalty fees. In turn, the program can provide a financial institution with a substantial increase in non-interest income, without implementing harmful high-to-low posting policies and exorbitant overdraft fees.

"JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE is guaranteed 100% compliant and employs sequential transaction clearing policies that avoid maximizing overdrafts and related fees. We have never recommended harmful high-to-low posting to our clients. We provide our clients with communications materials that clearly explain all program policies and procedures, and provide comprehensive training to help credit union employees promote a socially responsible program use among their members."

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