Durbin Applauds University of Illinois Employees Credit Union's Decision to Adopt Fee Disclosure Form
Illinois Credit Union Chooses to Clearly Disclose Account Fees to Its Customers
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to Greg Anderson, Chief Operating Officer of the University of Illinois Employees Credit Union, today applauding the credit union’s decision to voluntarily adopt a disclosure form designed to make checking 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.
“University of Illinois Employees Credit Union’s decision to voluntarily adopt a simple and clear fee disclosure form will help students in the University of Illinois community 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 University of Illinois Employees Credit Union is listening. It’s time for banks and credit unions across Illinois and around the country to join University of Illinois Employees Credit Union and put their customers first.”
University of Illinois Employees Credit Union’s decision to adopt the disclosure form comes just weeks after Inland Bank – a community bank in the Chicagoland area – announced that they would adopt a similar fee disclosure form for both checking and savings accounts. Last year, 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.
University of Illinois Employees Credit Union 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 28, 2012
Mr. Greg Anderson
Sr. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
University of Illinois Employees Credit Union
2201 South First Street
P.O. Box 500
Champaign, IL 61824
Dear Mr. Anderson:
I commend the University of Illinois Employees Credit Union for providing your customers with a concise and consumer-friendly disclosure form listing the fees and key terms associated with your checking accounts. By making comprehensive fee information available in a simple, easy-to-read format developed by the Pew Charitable Trusts, you have chosen to be upfront and honest with your customers about the fees you charge. I believe your customers will value your demonstrated commitment to transparency.
While the Pew disclosure form has been voluntarily adopted by a number of other banks and credit unions, it is my understanding that UIECU is the nation’s first small credit union, as well as the nation’s first university-affiliated credit union, to adopt the form. I am heartened to see a financial institution from my home state lead the way in providing transparency for student checking accounts. While access to transparent and honest information about checking fees is important for all consumers, it is particularly important when it comes to checking accounts marketed to college and university students, many of whom are opening their first account.
Your decision to adopt this disclosure form at your four local branches and on your website will benefit your student and community member customers, and it will help advance the cause of fee transparency to the benefit of consumers nationwide. I commend and thank you and UIECU for adopting the Pew disclosure form, and I wish you success in your future endeavors.
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator
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