Tri-CU eliminates NSF fees, reduces overdraft fees

The growing number of major banks eliminating or reducing overdraft and nonsufficient fund (NSF) fees prompted the Tri-Cities’ smallest credit union to follow suit.

Kennewick-based Tri‐CU Credit Union recently announced it would eliminate its $28 NSF returned item fee and reduce its overdraft/courtesy pay fee from $28 to $10.

Tri‐CU said it cut the fees for multiple reasons:

  • Increased automation of transactions (including the increase in electronic transactions, as opposed to paper checks) has reduced handling and processing costs.
  • Recent studies indicate that NSF fees disproportionally hurt members who are less educated and already struggling financially.
  • The credit union had already waived all NSF fees for several months during the initial Covid-19 lockdown, with an acceptably minor impact on the financial bottom line.

Doug Wadsworth

“Generally, we consider ‘big banks’ to be the enemy, always pushing for more profit, at the expense of their customers. While I feel this is still true in most ways, I think they also got something right here, which is a little embarrassing. As a local, not‐for‐profit institution, we are always striving to help our members who need it most … so we took the plunge. Hopefully, others will follow our example, even though we are the smallest credit union in the Tri‐Cities,” said Doug Wadsworth, president of Tri-CU in a news release.

Wells Fargo and Bank of America were the latest big banks to overhaul their overdraft fees and policies.

Tri‐CU said it ended internal automatic overdraft transfers fees more than a year ago.

Tri-CU, which has about 6,000 members, serves anyone who lives, works or worships in Benton or Franklin counties.

Tri‐CU is led by a volunteer board of directors, elected by the membership, and includes: Tony Edwards (president of Allen Electric), Camelia Uhling (former CEO of Monad Credit Union), Judy Kirk (retired banking professional), David Strote (Hanford regulatory management) and Jose Juarez (account management professional and former employee).

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