Defend Your Dollars: Share this site! We support reforms to the financial marketplace to curb bad practices by banks and lenders.


Some bank accounts come with hidden fees and complicated terms which often end up costing you. Consumers Union advocates for upfront pricing and fair practices so that you don’t end up losing your deposits.


  • CU Urges Dept. of Ed. to Issue Strong Campus Banking Rules

    Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Department’s proposed rule to set new minimum standards for campus banking arrangements pursuant to its “cash management” rules. We strongly support the Department’s proposal, and believe it will rein in some of the most problematic features of these school-bank partnerships. Continue Reading

  • CU Comments of CFPB’s “Safe Student Account” Initiative

    Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Bureau’s initiative to create a “Safe Student Account Scorecard” for schools to use when negotiating campus banking agreements with financial institutions. We believe this initiative is an important step toward improving the quality and transparency of campus banking Continue Reading

  • Campus Banking Products: College Students Face Hurdles to Accessing Clear Information and Accounts that Meet Their Needs

    College students face a variety of options on campus for accessing financial products. As regulations around the marketing of private student loans and school-branded credit cards have tightened in recent years, financial firms have increasingly marketed campus banking products to colleges, universities, and their students. Financial aid refund disbursement services, student ID cards linked to Continue Reading

  • CU Urges Dept. of Education to Protect College Students Using Campus Debit Cards

    This memo explains the varying protections that apply to debit and prepaid cards, and urges the Department of Education to provide strong protections to students using “campus debit cards” to access their financial aid. Read full memo here.

  • Trapped at the bank: Removing obstacles to consumer choice in banking

    New Consumers Union report shows what banks do to make it hard for you to move your money and what policymakers should do to make it easier. Download pdf.

  • The Move Your Money Checklist: The 5 things you need to know before you switch banks

    Breaking up is hard to do, so read our quick checklist before you switch banks. Download pdf.

  • Urging OCC to withdraw proposed bank payday & overdraft guidance

    January 11, 2012 Mr. John Walsh Acting Comptroller Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 250 E Street, SW Mail Stop 2-3 Washington, DC 20219  Re: OCC Guidance on Deposit-Related Consumer Credit Products, Docket ID OCC-2011-0012 Dear Acting Comptroller Walsh:  We write to urge the OCC to withdraw its proposed guidance on payday loans offered Continue Reading

  • Letter from JP Morgan Chase to CU on its debit card fee test program

    October 24, 2011 Norma P. Garcia Senior Attorney Manager, Financial Services Program Consumers Union West Coast Office 1535 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94103-2512 Dear Ms. Garcia: Thank you for your October 17, 2011 letter to JPMorgan Chase’s Chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon, regarding Chase’s Customized Checking test. We appreciate your feedback and are pleased Continue Reading

  • Bank of America: Drop the $5 Debit Card Usage Fee

    October 17, 2011 Brian T. Moynihan Chief Executive Officer and President Bank of America Corporation 401 N Tryon Street Charlotte, NC 28202 Re: Drop the $5 Debit Card Usage Fee Dear Mr. Moynihan: Recent news accounts have indicated that Bank of America will begin charging many of its checking account customers a $5 monthly fee Continue Reading

  • SunTrust Banks, Inc: Drop the $5 Debit Card Usage Fee

    October 17, 2011 William H. Rogers, Jr. President and Chief Executive Officer SunTrust Banks, Inc. 303 Peachtree Street Northeast Atlanta, GA 30308-3201 Re: Drop the $5 Debit Card Usage Fee Dear Mr. Rogers: Recent news accounts have indicated that SunTrust Bank will charge Basic Everyday Checking Account customers a $5 per month fee in any Continue Reading

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Press Releases

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Blog Posts

  • Judge’s Ruling Finds Bank Misconduct in ’08 Crash

    Last week there was an important court ruling against two banks from the Federal District Court in Manhattan related to the impact and role of the sales of securities backed by faulty mortgages in the housing crash of 2008.  The New York Times reported on this development. To give the ruling some context, recall that Continue Reading

  • Victory! Dept of Ed Proposes Tough New Rules for Campus Banking Products

    Good news for college students! Today, the Department of Education announced proposed regulations to crack down on aggressive marketing practices and high fees associated with campus banking products. These accounts can be aggressively pushed onto students as the “preferred” option for receiving financial aid and managing money, only to end up nickel-and-diming students out of Continue Reading

  • ALERT! Wells Fargo Sued for Allegedly Opening Unauthorized Customer Accounts: 3 Things You Can Do

    The Los Angeles City Attorney (Mike Feuer) on Tuesday filed a civil lawsuit against Wells Fargo alleging the bank opened up savings and checking accounts and issued credit cards in customers’ names, without authorization.  The lawsuit further alleges that Wells Fargo failed to inform customers of the alleged misuse of their personal information and did Continue Reading

  • A Better Day for Mobile Pay? Google Wallet Adds FDIC Insurance

                  Good news for consumers who store funds directly in a Google Wallet: your funds are will soon be protected by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Insurance, according to press reports. In general terms, deposit insurance makes sure that consumers don’t lose money if the bank where their money Continue Reading

  • Alert: Facebook’s New P2P Terms of Service Say You’re On Your Own If Things Don’t Work Out

    In March, Facebook announced the launch of a payments feature for its Messenger application. It allows users to send each other money with just a message, just like this image from Facebook’s press release about this new service: In order for the transaction to go through, of course, you have to have money available to Continue Reading

  • Leader of Mortgage Relief Scam Gets 24 Year Prison Sentence

    Over the years, Consumers Union has spoken to countless homeowners who were duped by fraud artists who promised to rescue them from losing their homes to foreclosure.  Their stories are heartbreaking of how the scam artists preyed upon their desperate situation, took their money, and left them worse off. That’s why it is very good Continue Reading

  • CFPB Announces “Scorecard” For Campus Banking Products

    In a new effort to protect students being marketed campus banking products, the CFPB announced today that it is developing a “Safe Student Account Scorecard” for schools.  The Scorecard will give schools a roadmap to negotiating a better deal for students when choosing a financial institution to offer bank accounts or prepaid cards on campus. We’ve Continue Reading

  • Buying a House? Don’t Forget to Buy the Right Mortgage Too

    Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released some new online tools to help you shop for a mortgage.  The home buying process can be daunting, with so many decisions to make as you move through unfamiliar and high-dollar territory.  That may explain why a new CFPB investigation found that nearly half of all home buyers Continue Reading

  • Thirty-Five Things in 12 Months: CFPB Working for You–2014 in Review

    As this year comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the many actions the CFPB has taken to defend your rights as a consumer of financial services and products.  The CFPB has a tough job, as we all know, and they’ve done it well.  They are an indispensable Continue Reading

  • From Strip to Chip: New Payment Cards Are Coming

    Your payment cards may look different in 2015. Card issuers are rolling out cards with smart chip (also known as EMV) technology. The chips – little gold micro processors that are built into the card (see picture) – make payment cards more secure, but consumers will have to adapt in order to use them. The Continue Reading

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