Who Reads 44 Pages of Disclosures?
The Need for a Disclosure Box
Pew’s Model Disclosure Box for Checking Accounts
The Pew Charitable Trusts consumer banking project’s latest survey of checking accounts, Checks and Balances: 2014 Update, found the median length of disclosure materials for checking account agreements and fee schedules to be 44 pages, excluding addenda and other supplementary documents. Our research has shown that few consumers read this lengthy information.
Pew has developed a summary disclosure form, similar to a nutrition label for food or a Schumer box for credit card offers. This model disclosure box provides consumers with clear and consolidated information about the fees, terms, and conditions of their checking accounts. Consumers say the box is a useful and valuable tool when opening an account, because it helps them understand fees and important policies when comparing checking accounts.
Many banks have come to understand the value of transparency for such a fundamental product. Twenty-eight banks and credit unions have worked with Pew to adopt the model disclosure box as of December 2013, including 10 of the 12 largest banks and the three largest credit unions.
The following banks have voluntarily adopted Pew’s simple disclosure for checking accounts:
- Ally Bank
- Bank of America
- Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank
- Capital One
- Cascade Community Federal Credit Union
- Charter One
- Citizens Bank
- Eastman Credit Union
- Fifth Third Bank
- First Niagara
- First Tennessee Bank
- Inland Bank
- Navy Federal Credit Union
- North Carolina State Employees' Credit Union
- Pentagon Federal Credit Union
- Santander Bank
- Suncoast Credit Union
- TD Bank
- Town and Country
- University of Illinois Employees' Credit Union
- U.S. Bank
- UW Credit Union
- Webster Bank
- Wells Fargo