Durbin Applauds Decisions by SunTrust, Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union and UW Credit Union to Adopt Fee Disclosure Form

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent letters to the CEOs of SunTrust, Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union and UW Credit Union today, applauding the financial institutions’ decisions to voluntarily adopt a disclosure form designed to make checking account terms and fees transparent and easy for consumers to understand, as he has been urging. Copies of those letters are attached.


“Today’s decision by these three financial institutions to voluntarily adopt a simple and clear fee disclosure form will help their customers 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 glad SunTrust, Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union and UW Credit Union are listening. It’s time for banks and credit unions across the country to join the growing number of financial institutions who’ve decided to put their customers first.”


The decision by SunTrust, Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union and UW Credit Union comes four months after Bank of America, Capital One and Fifth Third Bank announced plans to adopt The Pew Charitable Trusts’ model disclosure form for checking accounts. Citigroup announced they would also use the form earlier this year. Last year, Chase, the nation’s largest bank, announced they too would adopt a similar form..


SunTrust is one of the nation’s largest banks. Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in Florida. UW Credit Union is affiliated with the University of Wisconsin and has over 20 branches across the state.


In November 2011, 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.


The financial institutions will be adopting a disclosure form based on The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project. 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 69 pages according to Pew’s latest analysis of the nation’s largest 12 banks.  A copy of the Pew form is attached.


The Pew disclosure form has also been voluntarily adopted by Illinois' Inland Bank, University of Illinois Employees Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, TD Bank, Tennessee’s Eastman Credit Union, the North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union, and Town and Country Bank of Springfield, Illinois.