Wells Fargo starts small-dollar loans amid overdraft scrutiny

Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) introduced small-dollar loans to customers online, the bank said Wednesday, as overdraft fees draw greater scrutiny in the United States.

The loans are for $250 or $500 with a flat fee of $12 or $20, respectively, to eligible customers, the bank said. The loans are already available in a limited number of markets and will be offered nationwide by year-end.

The Biden administration has pledged to crack down on so-called surprise “junk fees” such as overdrafts that can catch customers off guard. Some major banks have responded by scrapping overdrafts altogether, reducing charges or changing policies to allow customers to opt in or out of the services.