The New York Times: Banks Lag on Consumer Friendly Checking Practices
Two of the country’s largest banks scored well on a ranking of the consumer-friendliness of their checking accounts, but no bank met all of the recommended criteria, a new analysis found.
The report, from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project, assessed 36 of the country’s largest 50 banks, ranked by deposits, on their policies for clear disclosure of terms and fees; overdrafts; and dispute resolution. (Fourteen of the country’s 50 largest banks were not included because they didn’t offer a way for consumers to learn about their policies without visiting a bank branch).
Pew defines “best” practices as those that are most effective in giving account holders clear, concise information about costs and terms; reducing the number of overdrafts, and eliminating practices — like transaction re-ordering – that maximize overdraft fees; and providing a meaningful alternative to mandatory binding arbitration for consumers to solve problems with their bank.
However, all banks can do better, said Susan Weinstock, director of the Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project. “All banks showed there is room for improvement,” she said.
Read the full article at nytimes.com.