Watch Out For Regulation D Savings Account Fees

If you have a savings or money market account at a bank or credit union it has limitations on transactions set by Regulation D which was established by the Federal Reserve Board to implement reserve requirements for depository institutions. Regulation D limits the number of electronic transactions on a savings or money market account to 6 or 3 in a calendar month depending on the type of transaction.

Transactions that are limited:

  • Pre-authorized transfer to a third party
  • Pre-authorized payment to a third party (ACH)
  • Pre-authorized transfer to an individual’s own non-loan account
  • Transfer for overdraft protection
  • Transfers or payments done via telephone system
  • Transfers or payments authorized via fax
  • In addition no more than three transactions may be made by check, draft, debit card, or similar order and payable to a third party

Unlimited transactions allowed:

  • In person request
  • Transactions initiated via mail
  • To make a payment on an in-house loan account
  • Transactions via ATM

I was aware of this regulation yet today I was very surprised to notice a $12 fee in my savings account this morning when checking my bank accounts online. Sure enough, we had over 6 electronic transactions this month and it was my own fault. Thanks to the holiday season and some unexpected car repairs earlier this month I had transfered some money to our checking account from savings a few times. Well, these transfers in combination with our already existing pre-authorized transfers to some other accounts triggered the fee.

I did go to the bank over lunch to see if there was any way to have the fee reversed. I was not very optimistic since it was not a bank error by any means, but after speaking to the manager and noticing it was the first time this has happened they removed the fee. It was clearly a mistake on my part but the manager said very few people are told about this or aware of it so they had no problem reversing it for this first time.

So this serves as a reminder that if you plan on doing online or telephone transactions, make sure to pay attention to the frequency of transactions, especially if you have existing pre-authorized transactions in place. I will be changing a few of our automatic transfers to use checking in the future in order to reduce the possibility of this happening again. I will also be sure that when I do go online to move money between accounts I will use larger amounts less frequently or simply go into my local branch.

Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle

My name is Jeremy Vohwinkle, and I’ve spent a number of years working in the finance industry providing financial advice to regular investors and those participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans.

6 comments
jono
jono

it is your money and you can do what you want with it, just like its your car, you park it where you like. The reality is tho if you park it where the "man" says you cant you gotta pay the hell hounds of the parking nazis.
sure the banks use your money in savings accounts, thats how the banks lend you money to buy stuff you cant afford. they dont risk their own loot to issue sub prime loans. this is what you agree to when you open an account and blithely sign anything to get the plastic that lets you use money everywhere without carrying wads of cash that muggers would happily releive you of at a deserted gas station at midnight. its all a trade off. you want the banks services, you gotta pay em, just like everyone else in the usa. if you dont, then choose not too and dont use a bank.

Chris
Chris

I too, just found out about this by being charge $45 in my savings account. $15 per transaction that I was over. I was also told they can't reverse it because they didn't charge me, it was the feds. The bank's manager wouldn't even give me the time of day. She sent one of the workers to tell me no. I am going to talk to her somehow. It's not right! It's shady! It's my money so why can't I do what I want or need to do? I also had car problems and not all at the same time so how was I suppose to predict the future and make one big transfer so as to not be charged? This is crazy. I was never told about this fee, ever. Found out the hard way.

Scott
Scott

Well I've just found out about Reg D in the most graphic way - $48 in profit enhancing fees collected by Chase.

After partitioning my costs to move into a savings account for a few months, the date of the move came and as checks were written to move, the money in savings was transferred back to checking. I'd never heard of the idea that I did not actually have access to my own money before. And that Chase could not or would not provide warning notices before leveling such charges is ridiculous.

This whole scam is caused by the Fed and its rules for banks reserves. Never dawned on me that my savings account was part of Chase's reserve balance. It's time for the Federal Reserve to be abolished.

michelle tovar
michelle tovar

How many times can you actually transfer from savings to checkings account without being charged???

BadRequest
BadRequest

Well, rules are rules, but I think the banks are taking advantage of the fact that so many people are unaware of Regulation D. I used PayPal with a savings account and was at 10 transfers when I received two warning letters on the same day. One for the first "violation" and one for the second. Well by that time it was too late as I had already sent more through, so then I was at my third violation. I then got a call which said that after one more violation, my account would be closed and I would be sent a check.

Well by all means, be my guest. I'll put it into a checking account where I actually have access to my money. It is MY money you see.

WAMU SUCKS
WAMU SUCKS

Lucky you. It just happened to me for the FIRST TIME at WAMU, or should I say Chase. The manager refused to give me a one-time courtesy credit, claiming that the Feds don't allow that. I told him then I'd be moving all my money to Bank of America. I'd been with WAMU (previously Home Savings and previously Coast) for 20 years, but if they won't do a one-time reversal of a $10 fee where I didn't even know about the "regulation," then they can kiss my money goodbye.