JPMorgan's Dimon on Elizabeth Warren attack over 'baloney' overdraft fees: 'We will do what’s competitive'

Jamie Dimon argues that there's a 'huge benefit to overdraft fees'

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon addressed a recent heated exchange with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., over his bank’s overdraft fees during an exclusive interview with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo and noted that "if it's appropriate, we're going to make a bunch of changes." 

"We will do what’s competitive," Dimon said during the interview that aired on "Mornings with Maria" on Wednesday.

At a Senate committee hearing with U.S. bank chief executives in May, Warren slammed JPMorgan Chase & Co for collecting nearly $1.5 billion in overdraft fees last year, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

"You and your colleagues come in today to talk about how you stepped up and took care of customers during a pandemic, and it’s a bunch of baloney," Warren reportedly said at the hearing. 

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Dimon replied that his bank waived fees upon request for customers who were under financial stress due to the pandemic.

Citing regulatory filings, The Wall Street Journal reported that JPMorgan said it waived more than $400 million in overdraft fees in 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, a fact that Dimon mentioned at a House committee hearing the next day. 

The bank brought in $1.46 billion in overdraft fees in 2020, a decrease of 29% from the year before, the regulatory filings reportedly noted.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
JPM JPMORGAN CHASE & CO. 152.96 -4.72 -2.99%

While legislators slammed banks for the money they made from overdraft fees, it turned out that overdraft revenue fell in 2020 for the first time in six years as many people curbed spending and stimulus helped pad their bank accounts.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which pointed to data from financial-data firm Moebs Services Inc., financial firms brought in an estimated $31.3 billion in consumer overdraft revenue last year, a decrease of nearly 10% from the year before. 

Moebs Services Inc. also found that the number of overdraft transactions in 2020 fell to less than 1 billion after topping that mark for about 20 years. 

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When Bartiromo asked Dimon if he made a change to overdraft fees he responded by saying, "We've changed overdraft fees and charging over an extended period of time."  

"I’ve asked the people [to] look at it again and go through it in detail," he added. "A lot of competitors are making changes and we may be a day late and a dollar slow, but if it's appropriate, we're going to make a bunch of changes." 

 Bartiromo then asked Dimon to clarify his statements and if he plans to eliminate overdraft fees. 

"I don't know about that," he responded, noting that "there's a huge benefit to overdraft fees." 

"We do real analytics," Dimon added. "People who bounced checks, it often costs them a lot more than an overdraft fee." 

He then pointed out that people who don’t pay tickets face that ticket doubling in price. 

"If you don't pay a government bill, it's probably more than $34," Dimon said, noting that "it hurts your credit rating, etc."

"So we're trying to do the right thing for the client and not have a knee-jerk reaction," he continued. 

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Dimon also pointed out all the services and tools his bank offers customers without a charge, including digital banking and free trading. 

He noted that when JPMorgan considers making changes to fees "it's not just one thing we look at." 

"We look at the whole product continuum when we do something like that," Dimon continued. 

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