Senate Democrats urge banks to simplify fee disclosures

"We're giving customers what they need to make informed decisions," Reed said.

They haven't spoken with CFPB officials or other groups in the banking community about the plan. 

“Simply put, consumers have had enough of banks that try to sneak fees past them that are hidden in fine print or imposed with no notice at all,” they wrote. “While we recognize that the CFPB is still in its formative stages and that it has many important tasks currently under way, we urge you to prioritize this matter and to use your regulatory authority to quickly ensure transparency for checking account fees." 

The senators unveiled a one-page model developed by the Pew Health Group of simplified information outlining fees on overdrafts, returned checks and ATM usage as well as processing policies on deposits.  

Pew found in a recent study that disclosures average 111 pages. 

Pentagon Federal Credit Union and the N.C. Teachers Credit Union have adopted the disclosure form, according to Durbin and Pew. 

The call comes less than a week after the nation's largest banks — Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase — said they would not pursue monthly fees ranging between $3 and $5 for customers debit-card use. 

Banks said they were instituting the debit card fees as a way to make up revenue lost to new rules implemented Oct. 1 that cut swipe fees from an average of 44 cents per transaction to 24 cents. 

Durbin sent letters to the banks asking them to reconsider the new fees.