Expert Profile

Susan K. Weinstock

Director, Safe Checking
The Pew Charitable Trusts

Susan K. Weinstock is the director of Pew's safe checking in the electronic age project, an initiative that advocates for policies that better protect and inform American checking accountholders.

As the lead on Pew’s efforts to improve the safety and transparency of checking accounts, Weinstock directs a team of researchers and advocates who identify key banking practices and consumer needs and advance proven policies to protect and inform consumers.

Previously, Weinstock was the financial reform campaign director at the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), leading media, coalition, public education, and grassroots efforts to promote consumer financial protection. She has more than 20 years of advocacy, communications, research, grassroots, and legislative experience protecting consumers. Prior to joining CFA in 2009, Weinstock worked in a number of different positions at AARP. She directed many successful state-level advocacy campaigns throughout the country, saving consumers billions of dollars on their telephone and utility bills and pushing for the enactment of consumer protections and reliability requirements. She also managed federal communications activities on financial security issues, including message development and the creation and execution of integrated public awareness campaigns.

Susan Weinstock has a bachelor’s degree in government from Clark University and a master’s degree in education from Marymount University.

 

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Reports & Publications

September 22, 2011

Letter: Regulatory Authority and Priorities of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Pew Charitable Trusts, joined by banking, consumer and civil rights organizations, submitted a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau asking that it act quickly to ensure that consumers are protected from unfair banking practices and are provided important information about their accounts.

July 11, 2011

Regulatory Comment: Guidance on Deposit-Related Consumer Credit Products

The Pew Financial Security Portfolio, a part of the Pew Health Group, responds to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s call for comments on Docket ID OCC-2011-0012, Guidance on Deposit-Related Consumer Credit Products.

May 26, 2011

Regulatory Comment: Availability of Funds and Collection of Checks

The Pew Health Group’s Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project responds to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System’s call for comments on RIN No. 7100-AD68, Availability of Funds and Collection of Checks

April 27, 2011

Hidden Risks: The Case for Safe and Transparent Checking Accounts

The failure to provide clear and comprehensive disclosure can expose consumers to hidden and potentially dangerous risks, according to a new study of checking account terms and conditions .

April 27, 2011

Graphic: Checking Account Risks at a Glance

A graphic illustrating checking account risks at a glance, from the report "Hidden Risks: The Case for Safe and Transparent Checking Accounts"

April 27, 2011

Checking Accounts: Long on Words, Short on Protections – the Need for a Disclosure Box

Based on a study of checking account terms and conditions in April 2011, Pew developed a model disclosure form for checking accounts, similar to a nutrition label for food or a Schumer Box for credit card offers. 

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June 18, 2012

Finding Hidden Bank Fees

Susan Weinstock, project director for the Safe Checking in the Electronic Age project, discusses banking practices that put consumers at financial risk on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

May 8, 2012

Pew Study: Overdraft Fees Still Take Account-Holders by Surprise

Susan Weinstock, Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project Director, explains the results revealed by a recent survey on consumer confusion with overdraft coverage.

May 7, 2012

Overdraft Fees Hit Unsuspecting Consumers

Susan Weinstock, Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project Director, discusses the findings of a recent survey on consumer confusion with overdraft coverage.

April 17, 2012

TD Bank Adopts Pew’s Simple Disclosure Document

Pew applauds TD Bank, Inland Bank, University of Illinois Employees Credit Union, and Eastman Credit Union for making checking account fees and account terms more transparent.

January 3, 2012

We Paid Almost $30 Billion in Overdraft Fees in 2011

An article on Time's Moneyland blog quotes Susan Weinstock on the need to reduce confusion among consumers "opting-in" to overdraft protection programs that may result in overdraft fees.

December 15, 2011

Chase Simplifies Checking Account Disclosures

An Associated Press article on Chase's decision to adopt a version of the consumer-friendly disclosure box developed by Pew quotes Susan Weinstock, project director for the Safe Checking in the Electronic Age project.

December 15, 2011

Chase, North Carolina State Employees' Credit Union, and Pentagon Federal Credit Union Adopt Pew's Simple Account Terms Disclosure Form

Pew commends Chase, North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union, and Pentagon Federal Credit Union for voluntarily adopting Pew’s model checking account disclosure form. The short and concise summary document was created to help financial institutions provide account terms and fees in a consumer-friendly format.

December 1, 2011

Time to Stop Arguing About Disclosure Reform

Susan Weinstock, project director for the Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project at Pew Health Group, advocates for clearer checking account disclosures in American Banker magazine.

October 28, 2011

Fees Help Drive Working Poor From Banks

Susan Weinstock, project director at Pew Health Group, is quoted by the New York Times' Bucks blog on the need for better bank fee disclosure. The blog discusses recent research from the Safe Banking Opportunities Project on the impact of hidden or unexpected bank fees on the working poor in Los Angeles.

October 28, 2011

More Southerners Are Off the Banking Grid

An article in AOL's Daily Finance highlights an interactive map from the Pew Health Group with state-by-state comparisons for median bank fees and policies, as well as percentage of households that don't have a bank account, across the United States.

October 21, 2011

‘Gotcha’ Fees Force Customers to Quit Banks

An article on Time's Moneyland blog about a Pew report on the impact of hidden or unexpected bank fees on the working poor quotes Susan Weinstock, project director of the Safe Checking in the Electronic Age project at Pew Health Group.

October 12, 2011

Congress Fiddles While Anger at Wall Street Burns: Plain Dealing

Susan Weinstock, project director of the Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project at Pew Health Group, highlights the need for clearer disclosures about bank fees and what triggers them in a column in the Plain Dealer.

July 28, 2011

Majority of Americans Want Better Checking Account Disclosures

An article on Time's Moneyland blog quotes Susan Weinstock, director of the Safe Checking in the Electronic Age project, on recent Pew-commissioned survey data that shows broad support for better checking account disclosures.

July 28, 2011

Pew Study Finds Support for Tighter Disclosure Rules on Checking Fees Crosses Party Lines

Pew-commissioned survey data is cited in an article by the Associated Press on the broad support for tighter disclosure rules across the political spectrum.

July 28, 2011

Checking Account Customers Support Stronger Banking Regulations, Pew-Commissioned Poll Finds

According to a survey by the bipartisan team of Hart Research Associates and McLaughlin & Associates, nearly three-fourths of Americans with checking accounts support regulations that would require banks to better disclose the terms, conditions and fees associated with their checking services.

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