Zach Carter takes note of recent ruling in a case that shows pretty clearly how the banks, not just Wells Fargo BUT all banks, purposely rigged their overdraft system against you:
A landmark court ruling on Wells Fargo's outrageous overdraft scam has the potential to return hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen funds to consumers all over the country. But like many of the banking scandals from the past decade, there's more to the story than simple bank predation. When banks devised this new program to swindle their own customers, bank regulators did not merely look the other way, they actively encouraged the behavior by writing a new rule approving a practice that courts now believe to be unfair and deceptive. The Wells Fargo case should be viewed as a clear example of why Elizabeth Warren ought to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The overdraft scam that Judge William Alsup slapped down yesterday is not unique to Wells Fargo-- every big bank in the country has been doing it for years, and if it's never happened to you, it's probably happened to your friends or family. Banks make a lot of money from overdraft fees-- $38 billion last year, compared to a combined industry profit of just $12.5 billion. They don't make that money by accident. Internal company emails and memos from the Wells Fargo case show bankers spending a lot of time figuring out how to maximize the number of overdraft charges they can hit their checking customers with.
One way is by changing the order in which your transactions are processed. Most people think that their checks and debit card purchases are processed in the order that they make them. But that's not how banks actually do it. Instead, they wait for you to make several purchases, and then process the most expensive purchases first. This method pushes a customer's balance to zero faster than the honest way that actually reflects buying habits. And the sooner your balance goes to zero, the more overdraft fees the bank can hit you with.
It is institutional fraud, across the board and directed at the average consumer, that had elevated the issue of the new consumer protection agency to a grassroots level to begin with.
And it is not just the bank customers that are institutionally screwed over by the financial system. Again from Mr. Carter, even the small players on Wall Street are habitutally hammered to the benefit of the American elite that continues to escape punishment for their crimes: