State Employees’ Credit Union Signs on in Support of the Pew Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project
RALEIGH, N.C., Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) has joined other consumer advocates in support of the full and fair disclosure of checking account policies and fees at all financial institutions. Recommendations for enhanced disclosures were outlined in a September 21, 2011 letter from The Pew Charitable Trusts to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The recommendations stem from a recent report from the “Pew Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project,” which confirms the need for greater transparency in account disclosures to assist consumers in selecting checking account services most advantageous for their personal financial needs. Specific recommendations from Pew to the CFPB include: Full and concise fee disclosures, reasonable and proportional overdraft fees, and elimination of transaction reordering for maximization of overdraft fees.
As a financial institution which falls under CFPB regulation and one of just three credit unions under this umbrella, SECU is encouraged that its current checking account service already exceeds the Pew recommendations. With a low $1 monthly maintenance fee, daily interest, no minimum balance requirement, and numerous overdraft prevention options, SECU’s checking product reinforces the Credit Union’s “Do the Right Thing” attitude. SECU even permits checking account holders to designate the $1 monthly maintenance fee toward support of SECU Foundation projects across North Carolina, with 99% of members donating this fee to the SECU Foundation. SECU, as a not-for-profit member-owned cooperative, looks forward to highlighting its checking account as a “best practice” in consumer fairness for CFPB.
Jennifer Hamrick, SECU Senior Vice President of Support Services states, “The Credit Union was created in 1937 to provide low-cost, consumer-oriented services beneficial to its members, and the organization has not deviated from that original purpose. SECU’s checking account has always represented an exceptional value for accountholders – a simple, low-cost option that works for every member regardless of balance or transaction activity. It is very reassuring to see that our Credit Union checking account services already surpass Pew’s recommendations. Consumers need a positive, supportive financial ally in these difficult economic times, and SECU seeks to serve in that role for our membership.”
“Nine out of ten Americans have a checking account, making it the most widely utilized financial services product — one that is essential to the national economy,” said Ardie Hollifield, manager of Pew’s Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project. “As vital as checking accounts are for American families, many contain hidden risks that can potentially harm accountholders. Our recommendations, if implemented, not only protect consumers, but also can create a level playing field where all financial institutions can compete based on fair and transparent pricing.”
SECU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members. SECU has been providing the employees of the State of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for almost 75 years. Currently serving nearly 1.7 million members, SECU provides services through 238 branch offices, nearly 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 Contact Centers and a website, www.ncsecu.org.
About the Pew Health Group
The Pew Health Group is the health and consumer-product safety arm of The Pew Charitable Trusts, a nonprofit organization that applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life. www.pewtrusts.org/safechecking
SOURCE State Employees’ Credit Union