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Public Statements

Amending the Federal Deposit Insurance Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HARKIN. Mr. President, in the last few years, a number of colleagues and I have grown increasingly worried about the fees that consumers face when using an automated teller machine, ATM. According to 2010 Checking Survey, the average surcharge a consumer pays to use an ATM has increased to $2.33. Over 99 percent of ATM operators charge this fee. Some ATM operators also charge balance inquiry fees.

In addition, consumers are also increasingly likely to face a fee from their own financial institution for using an ATM not owned by their institution. According to the same Bankrate study, 75 percent of checking accounts charge this fee, which is now up to $1.41 on average. Therefore, frequently, consumers may face fees of almost $4.00 for accessing their own cash.

Consumers who use prepaid cards are especially likely to pay a variety of fees for using an ATM. They can face ATM withdrawal fees, balance inquiry fees, and denied transaction fees. They may get no notice at the ATM of fees charged by the prepaid card.


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