Data Visualizations

Long on Words, Short on Protections

The Need for a Disclosure Box


The Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project released a study of checking account terms and conditions in June 2012. Pew’s research showed that the median length of bank disclosures for key checking account policies and fee information was 69 pages. Based on this finding, Pew developed a model disclosure form, similar to a nutrition label for food or a Schumer Box for credit card offers. This model disclosure box would provide consumers with clear and consolidated information about the key fees, terms and conditions of their checking account. Researchers tested the disclosure box with consumers who said the box would be a useful and valuable tool when opening an account. The summary would also help consumers understand banking fees and important policies when comparing bank checking accounts.

The following banks have voluntarily adopted Pew’s simple disclosure for checking accounts:

Pew’s Model Disclosure Box for Checking Accounts

Model disclosure form


September 21, 2012
Safe Checking in the Electronic Age
Checking & Banking