WASHINGTON (11/4/11)--Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) in a Thursday release asked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to require financial institutions to post on their websites a standardized disclosure form that lists the fees and key terms associated with checking accounts.
Durbin in a release said the one-page model disclosure listing the fees and key terms of checking accounts is intended to give consumers "clear, upfront and accurate information about the fees that they will be charged will allow consumers to shop around and make sound financial decisions."
The legislators suggested that the CFPB form could be based on a form developed by The Pew Charitable Trusts' Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project. That sample form provides spaces for disclosures on account opening fees, monthly account fees, ATM fees, overdraft and check processing policies, and other items.
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn said there is no reason for credit unions to be under any new disclosure requirements for share or checking accounts. Credit unions offer products that are member friendly, and already provide adequate disclosures, she added.
CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney in a Bloomberg Radio interview aired earlier this week encouraged those fed up with bank fees to find a credit union they can join, and look at the options. "You will get a better deal," Cheney said. Bank customers that are interested in moving to a credit union can see which credit unions they are eligible to join on CUNA's aSmarterchoice.org, Cheney added.
The CUNA CEO in a separate Huffington Post piece advised consumers that those who join a credit union can expect to save at least $70 through lower rates, higher returns on savings and lower or no fees over a year--just as current credit union members did in the 12 months between June '10 and June '11.