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Pew poll: Americans want banks to give more details on checking accounts

Republicans in Congress may want the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to die in its infancy, but most Americans are looking forward to the work the bureau will do in bringing more transparency to bank checking account transactions, a new poll has found.

Americans with checking accounts believe banks must do a better job of disclosing terms, conditions and fees associated with their checking services, a new poll commissioned by the Pew Health Group’s Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project has found

Nearly three-fourths of Americans with checking accounts support regulations that would require banks to better disclose the terms, conditions and fees associated with their checking services, according to the Pew poll.

The support cuts across all political affiliations, with solid majorities among Democrats, Republicans, independents and those who say they agree with the positions of the Tea Party. All of these groups favor stronger disclosure requirements, according to the survey by the bipartisan team of Pew Health Group’s Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project, which conducted the poll for Pew.

The data show that 81 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of independents and 62 percent of those aligned with the Tea Party have a positive view of Pew’s recommendations for banks to provide a summary of overdraft options and to issue a one-page summary of pertinent checking account information.

“Regardless of political affiliation, the majority of Americans with checking accounts view stronger oversight of this financial product as a positive move,” said Susan Weinstock, director of Pew’s Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project. “As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau begins its directive to protect American consumers, we urge the bureau to make checking accounts, which nine out of 10 adult Americans currently have, safer and more transparent.”

Even respondents who say there is already “too much” or “about the right amount” of government oversight and regulation of banks support these new rules related to detailing account terms and overdrafts, the poll found.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau went into business July 21 absent a director. Republican members of Congress see the bureau as an over-step in regulating the financial services sector and claim it puts too much power into the hands of the bureau’s director. They have pledged to reject President Obama’s nominee to head the bureau, Richard Cordray, former Ohio attorney general.


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  1. Rebecca Johnson

    The banks are stealing money fronm people with checking accounts. I suffer each month with from $200.00-$500.00 in overdraft fees. I bank with Trustmark, who informs me, the online banking does not have an accurate balance, when you call phone center its not accurate and it is solely my responsiblity to keep up with the current and accurate balance. Here is just one example of how the steal money:

    On Thursday 7/21/11,I checked-out of a hotel and the bill was $245.00. Most hotels charge immediately and I’m sure this one is no different. All transactions to my checking account processed through my account on Wednesday 7/27/11. So with 6 transactions processing through and insufficent funds, the over draft fee was $170.00 ($34.00 per). Trustmark says they have no control over when items come to the bank. I think they hold the transactions, literally wait until your funds are low, to gain the maximum amount of overdraft fees. There should be a cap on how much banks can charge per day in fees. Where are the REGULATORS! We are forced to use automatic deposit and we pay a lot of fees for our own money!

  2. In the artical it starts off by says Republicans are against it and two paragraphs down it says that 66% of Republicans are for it. Take a punch and hide the facts down the page.

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