A $5 monthly returned mail fee launched in 2012 at the $1.2 billion Kern Schools Federal Credit Union in Bakersfield, Calif., helps urge members who recently moved to change their addresses in the credit union’s system, Kern Schools FCU said.
Michael George, senior vice president of operations and marketing for Kern Schools FCU, said the purpose of the fee is not to generate income, but rather to obtain updated information from members. He said returned mail fees are refunded to members once they update their addresses with the credit union.
Although one member said the fee is unfair in a comment to Credit Union Times in response to a story about Kern Schools FCU’s recent overdraft fraud lawsuit, the 163,200-member credit union said it has not received any complaints in regards to the fee.
George did not say how much income the fee has brought in for Kern Schools FCU, but he said the credit union’s volume of returned mail has diminished since the fee kicked in.
“We were getting thousands of pieces of returned mail every year,” he said. “When people move, they sometimes forget to tell their financial institution. The fee is intended to get their attention and help us obtain the correct information.”