It’s got every basis in maximizing profits.
Years ago, my son was struggling with his first checking account. Initially, he would use his ATM card on an account with overdraft protection. He started getting dinged with overdraft fees. WTF? I thought the overdraft protection was supposed to save him from getting a bunch of NSF penalties.
So then I told the branch manager to make it so his ATM wouldn’t work if there were insufficient funds. What they didn’t say was that a debit card also can be used as a credit card — you can’t turn off that function.
So he would buy a $1.99 soda, thinking his account had sufficient funds, but the timing of his deposit and the use of the debit card could still turn those tiny purchases into NSF fees. He managed to have $550 in charges in a very short time, so he just closed the account and said “F*CK YOU” to the bank and his credit rating.
A couple of years later, I thought Congress addressed the problem, but based on your story, maybe they didn’t.
It is shameful how the banks abuse people who are struggling to get by.
The latest thing I heard about from my son is check cashing fees. It used to be that you could go to the bank where the check was drawn and cash it without a problem — they would just verify the funds. Now, you need to have an account at the bank where the check is drawn or you pay $8 to cash the check.