Huffington Post: Americans waiting to get their stimulus checks were growing increasingly frustrated Saturday after discovering some banks won’t make checks available to them for days, even if they’ve already been deposited by the federal government.
Biden: “you can get the stimulus direct deposit as soon as this weekend”— María Britto Farías (@MariaBrittoF) March 13, 2021
Wells Fargo & Chase: pic.twitter.com/ZE1eTn1Nif
The official payment date for the “Economic Impact Payments” is March 17, but millions of dollars in checks had already landed in countless bank accounts by Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Anyone wondering why JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo are holding stimulus checks until March 17, look no further than this. Each bank makes around $5,000,000 per day on overdraft fees. @RepKatiePorter do your thing pic.twitter.com/ysnreF6VDY— john (@johnlaf13) March 13, 2021
“Some Americans may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date of March 17,” the Internal Revenue Service explained on its website.
Some digital banks, like Chime, said they authorized clients to instantly access the cash. Chime touted on Friday that it had already distributed $600 million in “stimmy” checks.
Chime customers on Twitter confirmed that they already had access to the money.
Chase, however, issued a statement that it will release the payments beginning March 17, apparently even if the money lands in accounts earlier.
The bank couched the policy in a positive light on Twitter, chirping that customers can get the money “as soon as March 17” — but clearly no sooner, even if the millions from the government are under the bank’s control days before that.
Sluggish check processing only works to banks’ advantage because of the increased “float” created by a massive influx of government cash. They can juggle the delays to boost outgoing loans to other customers, and to boost their profits.