Banks Pay Bounty for New College Customers

September 5, 2013
ABC News  

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has opened an inquiry into the multimillion-dollar deals between American universities and big banks for recruiting students to open checking accounts that critics say may be saddled with extra fees.

"Unfortunately, many see students as nothing more than dollar signs in backpacks," said Rohit Chopra, who is looking into the issue for the agency. "Too often these deals aren't what's in the best interest of students." Officials are increasingly concerned about the burgeoning number of deals between banks and American universities, saying colleges eager for new streams of income may be shortchanging their students. A study by the Public Interest Research Group last year found that there are now 900 card partnerships between colleges and banks – agreements that could impact more than 9 million students nationwide.

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