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

Publication: The Associated Press

Author: Eileen AJ Connelly


07/28/2011 -  Even those in the U.S. who complain about excessive government regulation say they’re in favor of rules that would require banks to clearly disclose the fees they attach to checking accounts, a new survey shows.

A survey from The Pew Charitable Trusts released Thursday found that nearly three-quarters of Americans with checking accounts back rules that would make banks do a better job of disclosing the terms of their accounts.

The study found a favorable view of stricter rules among 81 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of independents and 62 percent of Tea Party supporters.

Notably, even those who say they believe there is already too much or the right amount of government regulation supported requiring banks to do a better job about revealing fees and charges.

Some banks do post certain details about their checking-account policies on their websites, but the information they provide is inconsistent and hard to compare, said Susan Weinstock, director of Pew’s Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project, part of the organization’s consumer-protection arm.

“No bank has an easy disclosure, so that you can easily go online and get an overview of what they’re offering,” Weinstock said. “When you shop for groceries, there are food labels. You can check the sodium content on one can peas versus another can of peas. You can’t do something similar with something as ubiquitous as a checking account.”

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Read the full Associated Press article Pew Study Finds Support for Tighter Disclosure Rules on Checking Fees Crosses Party Lines on the Washington Posts' Web site.

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