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Mass. Senators Seek Fee Waivers From Banks, CUs

Financial Institutions May Not Quite Be Ready

Keith Griffin

March 19, 2020

Customer uses ATM

Massachusetts’ two U.S. Senators, Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, sent a letter Wednesday asking that fees be suspended for all transactions until the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Nine large banks and 10 credit unions were targeted.

According to a Boston Globe column, the senators most likely won’t get what they seek immediately. “But many bankers were already thinking about the issues the senators raised. They’re fully aware of the pressures from the pandemic, without prodding from Washington, and they’re coming up with various ways to help as thousands of Massachusetts residents suddenly find themselves out of work,” columnist Jon Chesto wrote.

Financial institutions, Markey told Chesto, shouldn’t be making money off their fees when some Americans don’t know if they’ll make their next rent or mortgage payments. These extraordinary times, he said, call for extraordinary measures.

He added, “[T]he Massachusetts Bankers Association and the Cooperative Credit Union Association issued a rare joint statement on Wednesday in part aimed at discouraging consumers from making large cash withdrawals, saying it’s safer to keep the money in their accounts. Meanwhile, many banks are restricting access to their branches for health reasons and relying more heavily on ATMs and online.”

Read more about how financial institutions are reacting.

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