WASHINGTON — Chase's decision to adopt an easy-to-read form that discloses all checking account fees drew applause Thursday from Senate Democrats who are championing the simpler form.
At the same time, the Democratic lawmakers used the announcement by the nation's largest bank to pressure other institutions into adopting the form.
The form, which lays out basic terms and conditions for checking accounts, was developed by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Earlier Thursday, Chase became the first large bank to adopt it.
Chase's announcement follows a November press conference where Democratic Sens. Richard Durbin and Jack Reed asked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to require banks to post the disclosure form on their websites.
On Thursday, Durbin and Reed used Chase's decision to push other banks to follow suit.
"Giving consumers clear, upfront and accurate information about the fees that they will be charged will allow consumers to make sound financial decisions," Durbin said in a press release. "As we've seen over the last few months, consumers are demanding they be treated fairly and I'm pleased the nation's largest bank is listening. It's time for the nation's other banks follow Chase's lead."
Reed said, "Last year, Americans paid over $38 billion in overdraft fees alone, and they've had enough. Instead of using hidden fees to treat their customers like ATM machines, banks need to be more transparent."
Sen. Charles Schumer, who pushed to enact simple disclosure requirements for credit cards, also called on other banks to follow Chase's example.
"I urge other banks to follow suit and take this important step in consumer protection, and I will continue pushing legislation to make it mandatory that they do so," Schumer said.
Chase is the first major bank to adopt the form. Two credit unions have said they also plan to adopt it.