ConsumerWatch: Group Says Banks Make It Hard To Comparison Shop

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(CBS)

(CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — If you are thinking of switching banks, a consumer group said many banks aren’t bending over backwards to inform customers about their fee schedules.

The California Public Interest Research Group said it’s a problem that could make it harder for consumers to comparison shop.

CALPIRG recently conducted a survey (.pdf) to determine how well banks are complying with the 1991 Truth in Savings Act, which requires banks to fully disclose fees to prospective customers.

The group sent researchers into 392 banks in 21 states, and found only 38 percent of banks provided complete fee schedules on the first request. An additional 17 percent of branches provided information after two or more requests. CALPIRG said 22 percent of branches provided wrong or incomplete information.

CALPIRG is now calling for better enforcement of the Truth in Savings law, and hopes the nation’s new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will help.

“Regulators need to do more to make sure consumers shop around and make comparisons. The bank fees are constantly changing,” said Austin Price of CALPIRG.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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