Poll: Checking-account protections a bipartisan slam-dunk

Washington Republicans and conservative think tanks often portray consumer protection as some kind of anti-free-market plot.  As the chart to your left illustrates, a new poll shows how far that diverges from the GOP and even the tea-party rank-and-file, at least when it comes to a set of basic bank-account protections promoted by the Pew Health Group.

Pew's proposal is aimed at addressing common complaints from checking-account holders about hidden fees and unexpected charges for overdrafts.  It includes a simple one-page disclosure of key account terms, similar to the disclosures of credit-card terms.

“Regardless of political affiliation, the majority of Americans with checking accounts view stronger oversight of this financial product as a positive move,” Susan Weinstock, director of Pew’s Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project, said in announcing results of the new poll conducted by a bipartisan team of polling firms.  She said the results show that the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should make checking-account risks a priority.

Pew says that even account holders "who say they have a high level of trust in banks" overwhelmingly support the changes. Click here to read more about Pew's checking-account proposals, and its efforts to persuade the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to adopt a more consumer-focused outlook in its oversight of national banks.