Bank fees are not being adequately disclosed, according to a new report from California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG).
In the report, published yesterday, CALPIRG said that only 38% of bank branches complied easily with a simple request for fee schedules that are required by the Truth In Savings Act. After two or more requests, 55% provided the fee schedules. According to the report, 23% failed to comply at all, while others provided “weighty piles of useless other brochures.”
The report was compiled after inquiries were done at 392 bank and credit union branches in a total of 21 states. The report says they also checked bank fees in 12 other states through the internet.
The report also listed recommendations for consumers, which included reviewing bank statements, examining how many fees are being paid, and looking for better accounts. They also report that credit unions “are lower-cost alternatives to banks,” and are easier to join that most consumers think.
The report also stated that they found free checking accounts available at 50% of the branches they researched. 29% more had free checking accounts available with direct deposit.