Bank of America, TD Bank, Other Banks Agree to Simplify List of Bank Fees
A growing number of banks and credit unions are creating short, easy-to-read summaries of their checking account fees, instead of forcing customers to wade through scores of pages of legal disclosures to find the charge for bouncing a check.
Citigroup is expected to announce this month that it will join more than a half-dozen financial institutions, including JP Morgan Chase and TD Bank, that have already adopted a version of a one-page disclosure form created last year by the Pew Charitable Trusts, a nonprofit based in Philadelphia. Bank of America, the largest bank in Massachusetts, confirmed it plans to introduce a similar summary later this year.
The changes come in response to complaints about rising fees and a tendency of banks to bury them in long, complex documents filled with hard-to-understand legal terms. Many customers learn of the fees, for everything from closing an account to getting a paper statement, only when they get hit with them.
A Pew study last month found half the checking account disclosures for the 10 largest US banks ran 97 pages or longer, making it difficult for consumers to determine how one bank compares with another. Pew also found last year that the banks used seven different names for overdraft penalties.