Alerus eliminates NSF fees, cuts back on overdraft program

Grand Forks, N.D.-based Alerus eliminated customer NSF fees and reduced its dependence on overdrafts. 

The $3.3 billion bank increased the amount an account can be overdrawn before incurring overdraft fees to $50 from $5. Alerus further reduced or eliminated overdraft-related fees for consumers and small business clients, including providing overdraft protection accounts at no cost for consumers and doing away with extended daily overdraft charges.

Alerus’ shift from NSF/overdraft fees came after numerous regional and large banks have announced changes of their own. Green Bay, Wis.-based Associated Bank has eliminated NSF fees when an item is returned; overdraft protection fees; its continuous overdraft fee; and reduced its daily limit of overdraft fee occurrences to two from four. 

Citigroup has eliminated its overdraft program. Bank of America no longer charges such fees and instead declines transactions when accounts could be overdrafted. Huntington Bank has a 24-hour grace period, and PNC’s Low Cash Mode offers no non-sufficient funds fees and a maximum of one $36 overdraft item fee per day.   

Brian Schumacher, Alerus consumer segment and wealth management director, noted that regional and community banks have been slower to change their overdraft/NSF fee structures than their larger counterparts. 

“We’re proud to be a leader among community banks in updating our NSF and overdraft program fees to provide clients greater cash flow flexibility and grace when they experience temporary shortfalls,” he said. “Not only is it the right thing to do for clients, it aligns with our mission to positively impact our clients’ long-term financial potential.”