The 2019 DRI fee is based upon deposit return item cost data independently obtained from a sample of state-chartered banks and credit unions. The Division collected this data during the course of its regularly scheduled financial safety and soundness examinations under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 167, section 2. The sample of institutions reasonably reflects industry differences in asset size, charter type, geographical location, and DRI processing procedures. The Division used three years of DRI cost data to determine the maximum allowable fee under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 167D, section 6 and Massachusetts General Laws chapter 171, section 41A. The data collected from the Division's examination sampling process is summarized below.
A total of 84 institutions were surveyed. This sample included 22 banks and 62 credit unions. The cost of processing deposit returned items ranged from $1.43 to $36.04 per item. The average cost to process a deposit return item was $9.32 for banks and credit unions combined. Banks had an average cost of $8.66 and credit unions had an average cost of $9.55. The median cost of all institutions was $7.99 per item.
 The list of responding institutions includes 8 cooperative banks, 11 savings banks, 3 commercial banks, and 62 credit unions. Asset sizes of all the institutions surveyed ranged from approximately $3 million to $5 billion. The total assets of all institutions sampled is approximately $50.47 billion. The survey was conducted during regular safety and soundness examinations over a three-year time span between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2019. Institutions selected were done so solely on the basis of examination scheduling. As a result, the components of the sample are randomly derived and are not necessarily a representative sample of all institutions. All collected data was reviewed for reasonableness.
The maximum allowable fee Massachusetts state-chartered banks and credit unions may assess certain consumer deposit accounts for processing dishonored checks or DRI items under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 167D, section 6 and Massachusetts General Laws chapter 171, section 41A, respectively, shall be $7.99. This fee determination shall be in effect from August 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021, or until such time as the Division issues its 2021 DRI fee decision.
State-chartered institutions are advised that the above DRI fee is the maximum fee permitted by law. Institutions, however, may elect to impose a lower DRI fee or to waive the fee for their customers.
Mary L. Gallagher
Commissioner of Banks
June 15, 2020