Chase have just released a revised summary guide in relation to the Chase Total Checking service with the aim of making the terms and conditions much easier for consumers to understand. Chase Bank worked in close partnership with the Pew Health Group’s Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project in order to create a simplified disclosure form which is written in everyday language and is presented in a more consumer friendly format.
The new guide allows consumers to plainly see a description of fees and services, how they are able to avoid particular fees, when deposits are available and the order in which withdrawals and deposits are processed. Chase will also be eliminating account closing fees to simplify and enhance the service received by consumers.
These changes follow the example set by the CFPB who recently issued a template for simplified credit card terms and conditions. While the move is not mandatory, many credit card issuers are taking heed. With Chase moving in the same direction it looks like checking account customers will also begin to benefit from these simplified disclosure forms.
In recent weeks it has come more clear that consumers are particularly angered when subjected to fees that they were not expecting and consumers have been leaving banks in their hundreds in order to get away from these fees which are often hidden away in the fine print and explained in terminology that most bank staff probably do not even understand much less the consumers trying to read them.
A recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that on average checking accounts contain around 111 pages of disclosures. They soon proposed a simple one page form explaining the basics in clear language with no jargon and also suggested that fine print be banished!
Chase have become one of the first banks to adopt this proposal and effective immediately the new form will let customers who have a Chase Total Checking account, which is the bank’s most popular account, see clearly what they terms of the account are.
In a recent statement, Ryan McInerney, CEO of Chase’s Consumer Bank revealed that the bank is working on similar forms for student, Premier Plus and Premier Plus Platinum accounts. Spokesman for Chase, Patrick Lineham said,
We set out to be as clear and concise as possible.
It is unknown if other banks are set to follow Chase’s example. A spokeswoman for Bank of America, Betty Riess said,
As far as the Pew proposal, we’re evaluating it.
Citi and Wells Fargo have yet to comment.