Bank Fees Prompt Call for More Disclosure on Checking Accounts

October 6, 2011
Los Angeles Times 
consumer financial protection bureau news

As the backlash continues over Bank of America's new debit card fee, Raj Date, the acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is calling for more disclosure about what customers pay for checking accounts. Date says banks often are unclear about how much they charge customers for various services, and he suggests the agency might move to simplify checking account disclosures. "This isn't about any one fee from any one bank," he says. "The problem is that checking accounts often come with a wide variety of unexpected costs that can quickly add up for consumers." Date cites a July poll commissioned by the Pew Charitable Trusts that found that nearly three out of four Americans with checking accounts supported regulations requiring banks to provide better disclosure of fees, terms, and conditions. "Different banks charge different fees. Different fees are applied under different terms and conditions. Different banks give different names to the very same fee," says Date. "Ideally, consumers would have a simple way to evaluate checking account costs."
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