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Sad Findings of New Checking Account Study

Overdraft fees still confuse and burden many consumers


New research finds that checking accounts from the nation’s 12 biggest banks and 12 largest credit unions are infuriating many consumers.

According to a new study from the Pew Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project, many consumers are saddled with hidden fees and confusing documents that accompany most checking accounts, CNNMoney reports.

Former Bank of America CEO Makes ‘Very Damaging’ Admission
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The study focused on the information from 274 checking accounts offered by financial conglomerates such as Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), PNC Financial Group (NYSE:PNC) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM).

Here’s a brief look at a few noteworthy findings.

  • Overdraft fees still cause problems for many consumers, even after tighter federal regulations.
  • Many banks and credit unions are not clearly disclosing fees associated with overdraft protection programs.
  • The average overdraft charge is $35 per overdraft incident from banks, and $25 per overdraft incident from credit unions.
  • On average, bank customers are given a confusing and lengthy list of disclosures that range between 21 to 153 pages. The median length of disclosure documentation from the credit unions examined is 31 pages.
  • It’s extremely difficult to file a lawsuit against a big bank regarding checking account problems —  66% of 237 big-bank checking accounts require customers to waive their right to bring their grievances to a jury.

You can learn about what else customers had to say about big banks and credit unions at

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