Trump Admin Buried Report Showing Banks Charged Higher Fees To Students
December 11, 2018
“The Trump administration continues to side with big banks over the consumers they vowed to protect. Instead of doing anything to help students avoid crippling debt and undue financial strain, the Trump administration tried to bury this report showing big banks like Wells Fargo have been saddling college students with excessive fees.” – DNC spokesperson Daniel Wessel
Politico: Trump administration hid report revealing Wells Fargo charged high fees to students
By Michael Stratford
The Trump administration for months concealed a report that showed Wells Fargo charged college students fees that were on average several times higher than some of its competitors.
The “unpublished” report was obtained by POLITICO through a Freedom of Information Act request. It was produced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau office previously led by Seth Frotman, who quit as the bureau’s top student loan official in protest of Trump administration policies. Frotman said in his resignation letter that CFPB leaders had “suppressed the publication” of the report.
The previously unseen analysis examined the fees associated with debit cards and other financial products provided by 14 companies through agreements with more than 500 colleges across the country.
Wells Fargo provided roughly one-quarter of those accounts but the bank collected more than half of all fees paid by students, according to the report data. The bank’s average annual fee per account was nearly $50, the highest of any provider.
The report raises questions about whether campus accounts with high fees comply with Education Department rules requiring colleges to make sure the products they help promote are “not inconsistent with the best financial interests” of their students.