Hillary Clinton condemns 'usurious' ATM fees

Nov. 2, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton demonstrated last week on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" that when it comes to economic issues, she's as adept at playing the populist card as her close rival, self-described Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders.

Prompted by Colbert's comment, "Can you at least just get back from [banks] the $3 they charge us to take $20 out of an ATM machine," Clinton quipped, "You know what, we need to go after that too ... yeah, it's usurious." (Watch the interview.)

According to Yahoo News, campaign aides said that Clinton's comment was spontaneous and that her economic plan does not include "specific steps to tamp down the ATM fees" charged for off-us transactions.

Sanders, on the other hand, has proposed very specific steps in proposed legislation and has railed against the "outrage" and "ripoff" perpetrated by banks that charge consumers "to get $20 of their own money out of a bank." (Watch his 1999 testimony before the House Banking Committee.)

David Pommerehn, senior counsel and vice president of the Consumer Bankers Association, told Yahoo News that public perception of ATM fees is "distorted:

'ATM networks are expensive to maintain,' and fees help banks 'cover the cost of maintaining those networks,' he said. Consumers who go to out-of-network ATMs are paying for convenience, Pommerehn said.

The ATM Industry Association has spoken out in defense of ATM fees, issuing a statement that consumers needed to know "the true facts" about ATM operating costs.


Topics: Bank / Credit Union, Networking / Connectivity, Regulatory Issues

Companies: ATM Industry Association (ATMIA)


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