Financial institutions across the country have begun preparing for a worst-case scenario if Congress fails to raise the nation’s borrowing limit, assembling plans to offer customers emergency loans or waive fees if their federal pay or benefits checks do not arrive on time.
Navy Federal Credit Union, the largest in the country, said this week it would advance pay to direct-deposit members who are active-duty military or civilian employees of the Defense Department. It also said it would expedite approvals for lines of credit, overdraft programs and higher credit card limits.
A spokesman for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which oversees nationally chartered banks, said it is considering guidelines that would encourage financial institutions to work with their customers if checks are delayed, particularly in the case of overdraft or penalty fees.
Some of the nation’s largest consumer banks, such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo, have not yet announced plans for customers in the event of a shutdown. A joint guidance is expected from the nation’s banking regulators within the next few days.