While just 24 percent of big banks offer totally free checking, more than 60 percent of credit unions and small banks do, according to a new report (“Big Banks, Bigger Fees“) from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG).
To gather data for the report, PIRG staff made inquiries at over 300 bank and credit union branches in 17 states. They found that credit unions and small banks have lower fees on average and do a better job of disclosing fees to prospective customers.
(Data from 2009 likewise show that, the bigger the bank, the higher the fees.)
PIRG also found that many financial institutions are failing to comply with the Truth In Savings Act, which requires that banks make complete fee schedules available to prospective customers. Continue reading