SANDY, Utah - Ally Bank, an online-only bank offering savings, checking and IRA accounts as well as credit cards and auto financing services, said it is waiving overdraft fees for its customers grappling with the coronavirus pandemic and a period of economic uncertainty.
The company said it will forgive all fees related to overdrafts, expedited checks and debit cards, and excessive transactions on savings accounts through July 18, 2020 “to aid customers in accessing their money as they need it.”
Overdraft fees, charged when a payment or withdrawal from one’s bank account exceeds the available balance, average about $33 and may be imposed several times a day, according to personal finance website NerdWallet.
The Utah-based Ally Bank said in a press release last month that the company is committed to being a “true ally” to its customers, as millions of Americans receive stimulus payments into their bank accounts.
The Ally Bank logo is displayed on a smartphone in this file image. (Photo by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
"At Ally, we recognize there has never been a more critical time to deliver on our promise to 'do it right', and we are committed to supporting the people we serve safely and confidently through this crisis," said Ally Bank CEO Jeffrey J. Brown.
Millions of eligible adults began receiving a one-time stimulus payment of at least $1,200 last week under the CARES Act signed into law last month. Online banking outages were reported at companies across the country simultaneously as customers checked their accounts on the status of their check.
As part of the relief package, banks can use the direct deposit payments to pay off debts owed by the customer receiving the check, according to Business Insider.
"It is, in effect, a gift to customers in need," Ally Bank told Business Insider.
Ally Bank said it is also allowing customers with auto and home loans to defer payments for up to 120 days with no late fees or interested accrued.
Bank of America said it would refund overdraft, non-sufficient funds fees and monthly maintenance fees if a customer requests it. Other banks have encouraged customers to call them to discuss a solution on a case-by-case basis.
The COVID-19 crisis has forced the closure of businesses across the country and led to 1 in 6 American workers being laid off, according to the Associated Press. In all, roughly 26 million people have now filed for jobless aid in five weeks — a figure last seen during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
This story was reported from Cincinnati.