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FDIC gives banks final overdraft rules

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Wednesday gave banks final guidance on how to reduce problems with automatic programs that prevent customers from overdrawing their checking accounts — often with hefty fees attached.

The new guidelines, proposed in August, aim to give people better information about the cost of overdraft protection and to force banks to intervene when customers use the backstop too often. A 2008 FDIC study found that some people were chronically using overdraft protection as a way to obtain short-term — and very expensive — loans.

Standard fees are $20 to $30 each time a customer overdraws an account.