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News Release | WashPIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

New Survey Shows Free Checking Widely Available At Small Banks But Banks Still Hiding Fees from Consumers

A survey of hundreds of banks and credit unions in 24 states and the District of Columbia found that free checking remains available at more than 6 out of 10 small banks and credit unions but was only found at one-quarter of surveyed big banks (those with over $10 billion in deposits). The survey released today by the WashPIRG Foundation also revealed that fewer than half of branches surveyed obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers on the first request, while 12% provided no fee information at all.

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Report | WashPIRG Foundation | Financial Reform

Big Banks, Bigger Fees: A National Survey of Fees and Disclosure Compliance

A survey of hundreds of banks and credit unions in 24 states and the District of Columbia found that free checking remains available at more than 6 out of 10 small banks and credit unions but was only found at one-quarter of surveyed big banks (those with over $10 billion in deposits). The survey also revealed that fewer than half of branches surveyed obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers on the first request, while 12% provided no fee information at all.

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News Release | WashPIRG Foundation | Democracy

New Analysis: Tiny Number of Wealthy Contributors Match Millions of Small Donors, Will Continue to Set Agenda In Washington

A new analysis of data through Election Day from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and other sources by U.S. PIRG and Demos shows that just 61 large donors to Super PACs giving an average of $4.7 million each matched the $285.2 million in grassroots contributions from more than 1,425,500 small donors to the two major-party presidential candidates.

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Blog Post | Health Care

What’s Next on Health Care Costs? | Laura Etherton

Now that the election is over, talk has turned to the need to work together and get results for America. It’s a tall order, and on the polarized issue of health care, it may seem at first like an impossible task. But I am hopeful that we can make significant progress together.

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News Release | WashPIRG | Democracy

Distorted Democracy: Big Money and Dark Money in the 2012 Elections

A new analysis of pre-election data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and other sources by WashPIRG and Demos shows that outside spending in the first presidential election since Citizens United is living up to its hype: new waves of “outside spending” have been fueled by dark money and unlimited fundraising from a small number of wealthy donors.

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News Release | WashPIRG | Financial Reform

Two Years After Passing the Credit CARD Act, Congress Steps Up Attacks on Consumer Cop Designed to Enforce It

“The Credit CARD Act of 2009 has eliminated numerous credit card tricks and traps without causing skyrocketing interest rates or any of the other horrible side-effects that the banks once warned about.  In spite of that success, the banks and their Congressional allies are now seeking to eliminate the CFPB, the new consumer cop created to enforce the CARD Act and protect consumers from other tricks of the trade, like deceptive mortgage practices and unfair overdraft fees.

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News Release | WashPIRG | Democracy

Governor to sign watered-down campaign finance legislation

Governor Gregoire today is expected to sign legislation that was originally intended to curb campaign finance abuses in Washington, although the bill presented to her contains significantly fewer limits on abuses than it started with.

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News Release | WashPIRG | Consumer Protection

Chemical Threat Persists in Food and Beverage Packaging

Fourteen of the largest public packaged food and beverage companies still use the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in their packaging despite studies linking the synthetic sex hormone to developmental problems, heart disease and diabetes, according to a new report by investors Green Century Capital Management (“Green Century”) and As You Sow. 

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Legislation is a plus for state's consumers

Although the focus is still on balancing the budget as the Legislature nears adjournment from the regular session, there is some good news from Olympia for consumers, and legislators should be recognized for delivering some meaningful consumer protections that will help people all across our state.

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Media Hit | Financial Reform

On Tax Day, consumer group urges state taxpayers to protest corporate tax loopholes

Big corporations, including The Boeing Co., avoid up to $100 billion each year in federal taxes by “off-shoring” the profits they make in the United States or by setting up sham headquarters in tax haven countries. As a result, Washington taxpayers are left to make up the difference, according to the Washington Public Interest Research Group.

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