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H&R Block to Cut Refund Loan Fees

September 08, 2006|From Bloomberg News

H&R Block Inc., responding to New York and California regulators who said the nation's biggest tax preparer had overcharged clients, said Thursday that it would cut fees on refund loans by 40% and offer low-cost bank and retirement accounts.

Charges for a typical $2,800 "refund-anticipation loan" will drop to $60 from about $100, Chief Executive Mark Ernst told shareholders at the company's annual meeting in Kansas City, Mo. The new bank accounts, which don't require a minimum balance, will let H&R Block customers who don't have banking privileges anywhere else avoid fees they'd have to pay to a check-cashing center, Ernst said.

The price cuts, which take effect in January, may help H&R Block lure back customers who had defected to rivals.

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