View Transaction Infraction, an interactive graphic that demonstrates how banks can reorder a checking account customer's transactions to maximize overdraft fees.
Service charges, overdraft fees, and minimum balance requirements were cited by nearly one-third of households as reasons they recently closed their bank accounts according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The map below shows state-by-state data collected by Pew on the costs to the accountholder associated with maintaining a checking account. Collected in October 2010 from the ten largest U.S. banks by deposit volume, Pew data reflects those banks that maintained retail operations in a particular state according to the FDIC and provided account disclosures. For this reason, no state contains data based on all ten banks.
"Hidden or unexpected fees” were cited as the number one reason Greater Los Angeles’ working poor, those who are employed yet remain in relative poverty, closed bank accounts in the past year, surpassing job loss or lack of money, according to a survey of predominately Hispanic, low-income households.
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.
A checking account is the most basic and necessary financial product for American consumers. Nine out of 10 Americans have a checking account, making it the most widely utilized financial services product in the United States.
View an infographic presenting figures from the most important findings of the report.
The Pew Health Group’s Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project responds to the FDIC’s call for comments on FIL-47-2010, Overdraft Payment Programs and Consumer Protection. The FDIC issued proposed guidance for public comment on how banking institutions it supervises should implement and maintain oversight of automated overdraft programs.
"A study by the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project found that card issuers are complying with a new law this year that prohibits numerous deceptive practices. Previously, all card issuers tracked by Pew used at least one practice that is now illegal."