U.S. banks are poised to score a victory in their fight to keep regulators from pinching the billions of dollars in fees they charge consumers who overdraw their accounts.

After studying overdraft fees for more than three years, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is leaning against subjecting banks to tough new rules that would cap the size of charges or limit how frequently they can be imposed on consumers, said two people briefed on the agency’s work.

More likely, when the CFPB proposes regulations later this year or in early 2016, it will probably bar lenders from reordering transactions in a way that triggers overdrafts and also require better disclosure of policies that allow consumers to avoid the fees, said the people who asked not to be named because the agency hasn’t finalized its rules.

The new regulations the CFPB is considering would probably disappoint consumer groups, which have railed against overdraft fees as abusive with examples of $5 lattes suddenly costing more than $40. The charges amount to a short-term loan -- though with interest rates exceeding 4,000 percent -- when debit-card transactions push customers’ account balances below zero.

‘Unfair, Deceptive’

“The unfair, deceptive and abusive nature of bank overdrafts calls for deliberate, strong action by the CFPB,” said Sarah Ludwig, co-director of the New Economy Project, a New York advocacy group.

Moira Vahey, a CFPB spokeswoman said the agency is “carefully weighing what consumer protections” are needed on overdrafts.

“No decisions have yet been made,” Vahey said in an e- mail. “We will continue our work to understand and address practices that put consumers at risk, and are committed to a fair and open process.”

Overdraft fees have been a focus at the CFPB since the regulator’s creation under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. The agency named its first softball team “The Overdrafts” and in 2012, in one of his first actions as the agency’s director, Richard Cordray initiated a far-reaching review of the charges.