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New Overdraft Regulations Leave It Up to Customers to Opt In

Three Tips for Managing Your Personal Bank Account

RALEIGH, N.C. – July 22, 2010 – A change is coming that will affect every bank account in America. Starting in mid-August, bank customers who have not “opted in” to their banks’ overdraft protection programs will be declined if they try to withdraw more money from an ATM than they currently have in their account, and they will not be able to use their debit cards for transactions at stores if the purchase amount is greater than their balance.

Banks have been informing their customers about the account changes, but some people may still be surprised on August 15 if their debit card transaction does not go through. There are three steps you can take to keep this from happening to you and your account:

  1. Open Your Mail - Banks are sending letters to their customers in advance of this change. But if you don’t read these communications, you may be caught off-guard on August 15 when the rule changes go into effect.
  2. Evaluate Overdraft Protection - You must take action and “opt in” if you want your bank to provide its standard overdraft protection. The fees for this service can be well worth the convenience, but fees apply for each instance that you tap your account and you don’t have the funds to cover the ATM withdrawal or purchase at a merchants.
  3. Lower Potential Fees By Linking To Other Accounts or Credit Lines - You can create your own account overdraft protection by linking your personal checking account to another deposit account at the bank and have an automatic transfer established to cover any shortages in your personal checking account. Or you might consider opening and linking the account to a separate line of credit at the bank to achieve the same level of protection. A third option might be using a home equity line of credit to provide additional funding for your personal checking account.

Stay informed about upcoming changes to your account and take the time to make the right choices for you and your lifestyle. At RBC Bank we believe in keeping our clients informed and earning the right to be our clients’ first choice for banking solutions is how we do business every day.

This article is provided by RBC Bank. The information included in this article is not intended to be used as the primary basis for making financial decisions. RBC Bank does not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your own financial, tax or legal advisor.

About RBC Bank

RBC Bank, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., offers a wide range of financial services and advice to individuals, businesses and public institutions throughout the Southeast. RBC Bank’s network includes more than 420 full-service banking centers in six states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia), an extensive ATM network and telephone and online banking. RBC Bank is the 38th largest U.S. bank by consolidated assets, according to SNL Financial’s List of the Nation’s 50 Largest Banks, September 2, 2009. RBC Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) (RY on the TSX and NYSE), Canada's largest and most stable bank as measured by assets and market capitalization. In August 2009, Global Finance Magazine ranked RBC as the safest bank in the Western Hemisphere. RBC is also one of the world's financial, social and environmental corporate leaders, having appeared on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index every year since its creation in 1999. Additional information about RBC Bank may be found at