Time to Stop Arguing About Disclosure Reform
In October 2010, the Pew Safe Checking Project began a study of checking account terms and conditions at the 10 largest banks in the United States. One noteworthy finding was that the median length of disclosure documents was 111 pages.
Disclosures help consumers make educated decisions, but the information needs to be in a clear and understandable format. Obviously, at over 100 pages in length, the checking accounts in our study did not meet this standard. Filled with highly technical language, they were far from customer-friendly. These types of disclosures force consumers to learn about fees and terms the expensive way—after they incur them.
Clearer disclosures would level the playing field and encourage a more transparent, fair, and dynamic marketplace for financial institutions. They would allow competition to flourish based on consumers' awareness of what they are buying.
Read the full article at americanbanker.com.
- Safe Checking in the Electronic Age