Majority of Americans Want Better Checking Account Disclosures

Publication: Time

Author: Martha C. White


07/28/2011 - Earlier this year, the Pew Charitable Trusts published the results of a study of the nation’s 10 largest banks and found that the median length of checking account disclosures is a whopping 111 pages.

At the time, the nonprofit issued some recommendations for simplifying and streamlining crucial disclosures. But now the results of a new survey show that a clear majority of Americans, across the political spectrum, agree that better disclosures are needed. So Pew is pushing the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to rein in the profusion of paperwork on the grounds that it confuses customers and makes it harder for them to get information about account requirements and fees.

Pew’s survey shows that almost 75 percent of Americans say they’d welcome regulations aimed at more comprehensive and clear checking account disclosures. While survey respondents who identified as Democrats had the highest positive response, with 81 percent saying they supported disclosures, roughly two-thirds of Republicans and independents said the same thing. Even 62 percent of respondents who identified themselves as Tea Party supporters said they support increased disclosures.

“You can’t comparison-shop based on minimum balance needed, monthly fees and policies, because you can’t figure out what they are,” says Susan Weinstock, director of the Safe Checking in the Electronic Age project for Pew Charitable Trusts.

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Read the full article Majority of Americans Want Better Checking Account Disclosures on Time's Web site.

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