Raj Date, the special advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is bringing the new agency into the fight against checking account fees and costs.
“The CFPB has the ability to simplify checking accounts disclosures – an idea that some consumer groups and some banks have already been developing,” Date said.
By making checking account costs transparent, according to Date, consumers will be able to explore their checking account options from large banks, community banks and credit unions. They will then be able to pick the one that best fits their needs.
Date’s announcement follows a recent decision from Bank of America that said it will start charging its customers a $5 monthly fee for debit cards, which are generally linked to checking accounts.
“This isn’t about any one fee from any one banks,” Date said. “The problem is that checking accounts often come with a wide variety of unexpected costs that can quickly add up for consumers. Different fees are applied under different terms and conditions. Different banks give different names to the very same fee.”
According to Date, a new survey conducted by Pew Charitable Trusts found that nearly 75 percent of Americans who hold checking accounts support greater clarity and disclosure.