Still Risky: An Update on the Safety and Transparency of Checking Accounts

Still Risky: An Update on the Safety and Transparency of Checking Accounts

In this update to Hidden Risks: The Case for Safe and Transparent Checking Accounts (April 2011), Pew's Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project continues its study of checking account terms and conditions to examine both the state of the marketplace and the effect of current regulations.

Still Risky: An Update on the Safety and Transparency of Checking Accounts finds the following practices that may harm consumers:

  • Financial institutions do not summarize important policies and fee information in a uniform, concise, and easy-to-understand format that allows customers to compare account terms and conditions.
  • Financial institutions do not provide accountholders with clear and comprehensive information about overdraft options and their costs.
  • Certain overdraft fees have increased.
  • All 12 banks either already reorder withdrawals from highest to lowest dollar amount or reserve the right to do so without notice to the customer, thus maximizing overdraft fees.

Based on findings in this report and in Hidden Risks, Pew continues to recommend policy solutions that protect consumers, promote a competitive marketplace, and foster a level playing field among financial institutions.

Spotlight on Mental Health

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Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

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How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

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What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.