A man with wearing Movement Bank branded clothing smiling while holding a credit card sitting at his laptop
DANVILLE, VA. — With a legacy and mission in service, Movement Bank believes we can do more to bridge the gap between those with ample resources and those trying hard to build their ﬁnancial lives. We aim to reverse the unhealthy relationship some have with their banks — where bankers win when customers lose — by offering something better.
To that end, Movement Bank is proud to announce that we are turning the tide on the banking industry’s practice of charging overdraft fees. Beginning June 30, 2021, customers of Movement Bank will no longer experience fees for insufﬁcient funds.
For decades, the banking industry has seen NSF fees — also known as overdraft fees — as a reliable revenue stream. We see them differently: a way of penalizing someone when the current balance in their checking account is insufﬁcient to fully cover a transaction. Before online shopping and debit card usage became the norm, this was widely referred to as a “bounced check.”
While they vary by institution, NSF fees typically hover around $35 per instance. Households that are already struggling are often hit hardest, with nearly 50% having experienced overdrafts in 2020, averaging just under ten overdrafts per household. That’s almost $350 annually, charged to people who often can’t afford it.
Forbes recently reported that 95% of last year’s overdraft fees were charged to households that are struggling ﬁnancially. These households spent 13% of their income on bank fees and interest for everyday ﬁnancial services, according to a 2021 report from the Financial Health Network. That’s compared to 5% for households coping ﬁnancially and just 1% for the ﬁnancially healthy. Each year, billions in fees are paid by vulnerable and coping households.
With a purpose that is bigger than banking, we decided “no more.” We’re not interested in capitalizing on a customer’s misfortune. Instead, we’re introducing products and resources to empower our customers for long-term ﬁnancial stability.
If our banking customers do not have enough money in an account to cover a transaction, we will return that transaction, and the customer will not be charged a fee. We will also help our customers avoid declined transactions by offering a $500 low-cost line of credit (subject to credit approval or completion of Bigger Than Banking course), even for those with below-average credit.
“This is one of our ﬁrst steps in fulfilling our “A Purpose Bigger Than Banking” mission,” says Movement Bank President and CEO David Rupp. “Penalizing customers when they are facing challenging circumstances doesn’t help anyone.”
How will this impact Movement Bank checking account customers? If our banking customers do not have enough money in an account to cover a transaction, we will return that transaction, and the customer will not be charged a fee. This prevents customer accounts from going further into the negative and saves the customer from accumulating overdraft fees. We will also help our customers avoid declined transactions by offering a $500 low-cost line of credit (subject to credit approval or completion of Bigger Than Banking course), even for those with below-average credit.
In addition to eliminating NSF fees, Movement is also launching product changes and educational sessions to help customers avoid the challenge of account overdrafts and manage their money more effectively. Beginning this week, Movement Bank checking account customers will receive an email notiﬁcation with tips and information on how to:
Movement Bank exists to love and serve people with a purpose Bigger Than Banking. Founded in 1919 by a community of 21 Black men and women in segregated Danville, Virginia, Movement Bank continues this mission in the 21st century. The bank offers a comprehensive suite of products and services, including checking, savings, money market and certiﬁcates of deposit for individuals and businesses. The bank also specializes in mortgage, home equity, auto and personal loans for individuals, and lines of credit, commercial, and real estate ﬁnancing for businesses. Movement Bank offers online and mobile banking, credit and debit cards and a range of other services. It supports educational and community investment initiatives through the nonproﬁt Movement Foundation. Movement Bank is based in Danville, Virginia and operates a branch in Fort Mill, South Carolina. The Bank also has loan production ofﬁces in Charlotte, Greensboro, Asheboro and Asheville, North Carolina. It conducts business online at movementbank.com.
Adam O’Daniel is Movement’s Communications Director. He leads corporate communication and public relations efforts across the organization. Email him at email@example.com.