Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) called on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to design a simplified disclosure page to protect checking account customers from banks’ hidden fees.
Under the present law, banks are required to disclose all checking account fees and terms, though the forms are often lengthy and complex. A Pew study of America’s 12 largest banks recently found that the median length of a checking account disclosure document is 69 pages.
“Pennsylvanians have a right to know in a clear and understandable way what fees they’re being charged by their banks, and implementing a simplified one-page disclosure would do just that,” Casey said. “Consumers across Pennsylvania are still struggling in this difficult economy, and the last thing they need is to be hit with hidden fees.”
The CFPB is currently working towards simplifying overdraft fee disclosures for checking accounts, which can also be lengthy and complex.
“Consumers are expected to wade through long, confusing documents and may be subject to steep, unexpected fees to access their own checking accounts, the cornerstone of household financial management,” Susan Weinstock, the director of the Pew Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project, said, CNN reports.
The Pew survey found that most banks and credit unions have made few changes since last year’s survey, and, in some cases, the fees associated with checking accounts have increased for consumers.
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