Sen. Charles Schumer yesterday called for new legislation that would force banks to clearly disclose fees that are hidden in checking account applications, some of which can run more than 100 pages long.
The bill, Schumer said, would give consumers more power and force banks to offer more "more competitive checking account offerings."
"Consumers have a right to know what they are signing up for, before they get hit with surprise fees," Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. "A disclosure box, in simple and easy-to-understand language will allow consumers to make better choices on where they decide to bank."
A Pew Charitable Trust study last week found that among the country's largest 10 banks, the median length of a disclosure document for an online checking account is 111 pages. A spokesman for Schumer said the senator plans to introduce the bill "in the coming weeks."
The bill mirrors the "Schumer Box" the senator initiated in 1988, which forces banks to disclose interest rates and other fees on credit card applications.