NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Discovering the vast number of fees that your checking account could be subject to remains an arduous task as most banks still do not make them transparent.
The average checking account can have up to 30 fees, according to a recent report by WalletHub, the Washington, D.C.-based personal finance social network. Checking account fees remain a large driver of banking costs, according to the FDIC.
Comparing checking accounts remains difficult, because there remains a general lack of uniformity across institutions in terms of checking account fee disclosure forms, format and content, said Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of WalletHub.com.
The report found that the highest scoring bank was Capital One, which received 90% while the lowest scoring bank was M&T Bank, which received 26.67%. To see the full report, click here.
“I can't stress enough the importance of comparison-shopping for any type of financial product and that's difficult to do with a lack of transparency and uniformity in disclosure practices,” Papadimitriou said. “It's not enough these days for consumers to accept what's displayed on a bank's website. Consumers need to do their own digging for more information and to avoid high hidden fees.”
Capital One and Santander Bank were the only two banks to receive a 9, the highest score for the visibility of major fees. The worst banks were TD Bank, PNC, RBS Citizens, Comerica and Key Bank, which scored the lowest on this measure with a 6 since they listed only the monthly fee and the online bill pay fee up front. The average score across the banks was 7.02.