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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 09:29 PM
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Banking Corporations Flouting Disclosure Laws with Virtual Impunity
from Red Tape Chronicles, via ReclaimDemocracy!:



Banking Corporations Flouting Disclosure Laws with Virtual Impunity
One-third fail to publish fees customers need to compare banks
Published by the Red Tape Chronicles, March 5, 2008


If bank fees are a mystery to you, you're not alone. Government investigators dispatched by Congress last year to find fee schedules at banks around the country came back empty-handed 22 percent of the time. And at one-third of the banks, information on overdraft fees and procedures was nowhere to be found.

The Government Accountability Office study, which was released Monday, (beware--it's 84 pp pdf) concluded that consumers lack the most basic information to "comparison shop" when selecting banks.

Lack of a clear and conspicuous fee schedule violates the 1991 Truth in Savings Act and Federal Reserve Regulation DD. But while banking regulators cited firms for ignoring fee disclosure rules 1,674 times between 2002 and 2006, the GAO found that significant consequences for violations are rare. Only twice did regulators undertake formal enforcement actions.

In other words, it's far more likely that you'll get a parking ticket for breaking parking rules outside a bank than it is the bank will be fined for disobeying federal lending laws.

While the fees may be a carefully guarded secret, their consequences are obvious. Last year, banks grabbed $36 billion out of depositors' accounts in fees, the GAO said. Fees are up 11 percent since 2000, and are becoming an ever more important part of bank business, accounting for 27 percent of banks' "non-interest income" last year, up from 24 percent in 2001, the report said. .....(more)

The complete piece is at: http://reclaimdemocracy.org/articles/2008/banks_flout_d...




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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 09:34 PM
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1. The bank I have an account with, Bancorp South, recently instituted this awful new fee.
You must now pay 1.50 for simply doing a balance query at their ATM machines or any other ATM machine, a 1.50 for a simple balance query. No money is being changed hands or withdrawn, yet the fee is still there. Talk about "good" customer service.

I'd rather stick with a credit union. They're friendlier anyway; mainly because they're collectively owned by the customers themselves.
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