Santander Bank enhances Safety Net, further reduces overdraft fees

Santander Bank N.A. has announced further enhancements to Santander Safety Net — the company’s overdraft policy that was initially introduced in 2021.

Santander is eliminating its non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee, which is charged when a payment transaction is returned; and is reducing the overdraft fee to $15 from $35, which is charged when items are paid.

The updates will automatically take effect for all of the bank’s clients in November.

The changes position Santander as having one of the most flexible overdraft fee structures among traditional U.S. Banks, according to a press release announcing the changes.

“Our clients are looking for a bank that provides them peace of mind, by helping them manage their daily finances in today’s uncertain times,” Patrick Smith, head of consumer and business banking at Santander Bank, said in a statement. “These Santander Safety Net updates, reducing fees and simplifying our policies, represent our continued commitment to being a trusted partner to our clients.”

Santander created Safety Net to automatically waive overdraft fees for accounts overdrawn by as much as $100. Since Safety Net’s launch in late 2021, 75% of accounts have had fewer fees and nearly half of all overdrawn accounts are not subject to an overdraft fee.

“This move to augment Santander Safety Net gives clients maximum ease and flexibility, especially to the Bank’s most underserved customers, and underscores Santander’s continued efforts to address clients’ evolving banking needs,” the press release stated.

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