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US Sen. Durbin Wants Banks to Use Disclosure Form

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) says banks need to be more transparent as college students start up bank accounts.

In a visit to the University of Illinois' Urbana campus Tuesday, Illinois' Senior Senator called on financial institutions to voluntarily adopt a disclosure form for fees. The announcement comes after Bank of America and other institutions imposed and quickly canceled monthly fees on debit card holders.

Durbin says institutions should all adopt a 1-page disclosure form created by the Pew Charitable Trusts, rather than the more than 100-page statements currently released by most banks. He says the form should be as simple as reading health information labels at grocery stores.

"And you know where to look for calories, for sodium, for carbohydrates, for other things that might be important to you," Durbin said. "This kind of disclosure form brings that kind of information when it comes to financial institutions."

Greg Anderson with University of Illinois Employees Credit Union says the disclosure forms are worth a look.

"What we've seen in the past with truth in lending that he spoke of, truth in savings, the Credit Card act of 2009, all spoke to more disclosure, making it easier for consumers to compare, and credit unions fall right into that," Anderson said. "I think it's kind of a natural for us to take part and follow with that."

Durbin has written a letter to Illinois' State Board of Higher Education as well as the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities, asking their help in contacting lending institutions.