Banks are making more money from overdraft fees: Report

Customers wait in line for an ATM outside of a Wells Fargo & Co. bank branch in Los Angeles, California.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Customers wait in line for an ATM outside of a Wells Fargo & Co. bank branch in Los Angeles, California.

The nation's largest banks saw a spike in the overdraft fees they collected from customers in the first quarter, according to new government data reported by The Washington Post.

Wells Fargo saw the biggest jump, at 16 percent from the same period a year earlier, the Post reported. Overall, the amount collected by the more than 600 banks included in Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation data climbed 6 percent to $2.7 billion.

The growing number of overdraft fees collected comes as the government's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau researches how banks charge them. Earlier this year, the CFPB asked the largest banks to offer accounts that do not charge overdraft fees.

"Over the years, overdraft programs have become a significant source of industry revenues, and a significant reason why many consumers incur negative balances," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said at a hearing in February. "Too many problems with overdrafts can cause people to give up on the banking system or force them out of it altogether."

Read The Washington Post's full story here.