Long on Words, Short on Protections – the Need for a Disclosure Box
From the report, "Hidden Risks: The Case for Safe and Transparent Checking Accounts"
The Pew Health Group’s Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project released a study of checking account terms and conditions in April 2011. Pew’s research showed that the median length of bank disclosures for key checking account policies and fee information was 111 pages. Based on this finding, Pew developed a model disclosure form, similar to a nutrition label for food or a Schumer Box for credit card offers. This model disclosure box would provide consumers with clear and consolidated information about the key fees, terms and conditions of their checking account. Researchers tested the disclosure box with consumers who said the box would be a useful and valuable tool when opening an account. The one-pager would also help consumers understand banking fees and important policies when comparing bank checking accounts.
Pew’s Model Disclosure Box for Checking Accounts
Full Report: Checking Accounts: Long on Words, Short on Protections – the Need for a Disclosure Box
This fact sheet focuses on the lessons learned from consumers who purchase and use prepaid debit cards. More info
An interactive graphic demonstrating how banks can reorder a checking account customer’s transactions in a manner that maximizes overdraft fees. More info
An interactive map highlighting the checking account practices of the 10 largest U.S. banks and the percentage of people without bank accounts in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. More info
The Pew Health Group’s Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project investigated checking accounts offered by the ten largest U.S. banks, which held nearly 60 percent of the nation’s deposit volume.
View an interactive graphic presenting a state-by-state overview of Underbanked or Unbanked households. More info
"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. More info
A graphic illustrating checking account risks at a glance, from the report "Hidden Risks: The Case for Safe and Transparent Checking Accounts" More info
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. More info
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. More info
"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." More info