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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is clear about its intent to pay attention to how financial products are represented to the public.
"On transparency and disclosure," says Richard Cordray, "a key insight here is that more disclosures don't always make things better. As it accumulates, there can be so much dense, fine print that it can actually make things much worse. Consumers find it hard to penetrate, and they often will not read it. That's a concern, and that's why we're trying to make things more transparent, simpler and clearer with our "Know Before You Owe" project."
Here is a simple page count of the disclosures that accompany basic checking accounts at some of the big banks.
Wells Fargo: 86 pages
Fifth Third Bank, a recipient of TARP funds, has been giving away money through scratch-off cards. The contest, is open to anyone in the bank's footprint. It was announced in September and ran through Nov. 24, 2008. It was called the "Unlock Your Dreams" contest.
Prizes include a $250,000 award, as well as a bunch of smaller instant offers.
The prize awards were given out after Fifth Third received $3.4 billion through TARP.