“In a new report released today, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) revealed that basic savings accounts remain an important savings vehicle for most Americans, especially for low- and moderate-income (LMI) families, but that these accounts vary widely in terms of pro- and anti-consumer characteristics. “Bank savings accounts remain the most useful way for most lower-income families to save for a rainy day, but some of these accounts are far more pro-consumer than others,” noted Stephen Brobeck, CFA Executive Director and author of the report, Savings Accounts: Their Characteristics and Usefulness. “Bank regulators could play a critical role in improving access to these accounts and eliminating unfair practices,” he added. The report was based on analysis of two new sources of data – unpublished data on traditional savings accounts from the Federal Reserve Board’s 2010 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) and research of the websites of the 50 largest banks (by number of branches), 50 typical medium-size banks, 50 typical small banks, and 10 largest credit unions, supplemented by phone calls to many of the institutions.”
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