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A survey of more than 350 bank branches reveals that fewer than half of branches obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers, while one in four provided no fee information at all. The report also includes a shopping guide, which will compare banking options, direct consumers to free and low-cost checking choices, and provide a list of fees that consumers should look out for when picking a bank.
Today, we’re releasing a new report, Big Banks, Bigger Fees: A National Survey of Bank Fees. Our staff visited over 350 bank branches around the country to see if they would provide a list of all bank fees as required by the Truth in Savings Act – a law that’s been on the books for 20 years. The law says, if a consumer asks for a list, or schedule, of all fees, the bank has to give it to them. It isn’t that complicated.
TextbookRebellion.org, a national campaign to promote alternatives to sky-high priced college textbooks, launched today with a petition drive and tools for individuals and groups to get involved.
PIRG In The News
Yesterday's recess appointment by President Obama of Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was applauded by groups that advocate for student financial aid.
The CFPB is a new kind of regulator designed to do one job and do it well -- protect Americans from toxic financial products. However, since July 21, the CFPB has been up and running, but only with partial powers. Now, with a director in place, the CFPB has additional abilities that kick in -- including the right to regulate private student lenders like Sallie Mae.
Rich Williams, a higher education advocate for U.S. Public Interest Research Groups (PIRG) said he's looking forward to the consumer bureau's work with student loans, as well as credit cards and debit cards issued on campus. With a director, the bureau can now set rules of the road for all providers of student loans, not just those issued by banks.
Rich Williams, the higher education advocate for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, said in a statement that Congress is “blindsiding about 143,000 students next year.”
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