[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to Inland Bank CEO, Howard Jaffe, yesterday applauding the bank’s decision to voluntarily adopt a disclosure form designed to make checking and savings accounts terms and fees transparent and easy for consumers to understand, as he has been urging. A copy of that letter is pasted below and attached.
“Inland Bank’s decision to voluntarily adopt a simple and clear fee disclosure form will help consumers and shows that transparency and fairness are a good business plan,” Durbin said. “Giving consumers clear, upfront and accurate information about the fees that they will be charged will allow consumers to make sound financial decisions. As we’ve seen over the last few months, consumers are demanding they be treated fairly and I’m pleased Inland Bank is listening. It’s time for community banks across Illinois and around the country to follow Inland’s lead.”
Inland Bank is the first community bank in the nation to adopt a fee disclosure form based on the Pew model. Oak Brook, Illinois-based Inland Bank has eleven branches in the Chicagoland area.
Inland Bank’s decision to adopt the disclosure form comes just two months after Chase, the largest bank operating in Illinois and one of the largest banks in the nation, announced they too would adopt a similar form. Last November, Senator Durbin called on the nation’s financial institutions to voluntarily simplify checking account fee disclosures by adopting the Pew form. Durbin has also asked the Illinois banking and credit union communities to voluntarily adopt the fee disclosure form.
Inland Bank will be adopting a disclosure form based on The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project. A copy of Pew’s model form is attached. It outlines all the basic checking account terms and conditions – including ATM fees, interest rates, overdraft penalties, and account closing fees -- in a concise, easy-to-read, one-page format. Currently, the median length of checking account disclosures is 111 pages, according to a Pew study of the nation's 10 largest banks.
The Pew disclosure form has also been voluntarily adopted by Pentagon Federal Credit Union and the North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union.
February 13, 2012
Chairman and CEO
Inland Bank and Trust
2805 Butterfield Road
Oak Brook, IL 60523
Dear Mr. Jaffe:
I write to applaud Inland Bank’s decision to provide your customers with a concise and consumer-friendly disclosure form listing the fees and key terms associated with your checking and savings accounts. By making comprehensive fee information available in a simple, easy-to-read format that you developed with the Pew Charitable Trusts, you have chosen to be upfront and honest with your customers about the fees you charge. I commend you for this demonstrated commitment to transparency, and I believe your customers will value your commitment as well.
While several of the nation’s largest banks and credit unions have already adopted the Pew disclosure form, it is my understanding that Inland Bank is the first community bank in the nation to adopt the form. I am extremely pleased that an Illinois institution is leading the way among community banks in making this disclosure form available. If a community bank with eleven Chicagoland branches can adopt this form for the benefit of its customers, there is no reason why other small banks cannot do the same. As I continue my efforts to urge the community banking sector to adopt the Pew form, I will now be urging those banks to follow your lead.
Simply put, today marks a significant win for transparency and a significant win for consumers in Illinois. I commend you and Inland Bank for your decision to adopt the Pew disclosure form, and I wish you success in your future endeavors.
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator