"5 Secrets Your Bank Doesn't Want You to Know:" A New GoBankingRates.com Investigation

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Consumers turn to banks for help with handing their most sensitive financial matters, but there are a few banking secrets that some institutions would rather keep quiet. Personal finance website http://www.GoBankingRates.com uncovers five banking secrets banks don’t want customers to know, and explains what consumers can do to protect their money.

Bank Secrets

Bank Secrets

The best thing to do to avoid a right of setoff is to make timely payments toward the loan — avoiding default is the only 100 percent guarantee that you won’t lose money via a setoff.

Trust is an important part of any successful relationship, but a CapGemini report reveals only 20 percent of Americans agree or strongly agree that consumers have trust and confidence in the banking industry.

A new GoBankingRates investigation examines the complex relationship between banks and consumers, exposing the top banking secrets in its publication, "What Banks Don’t Want You to Know,” and explaining what customers can do to regain the financial upper hand.

GoBankingRates divulges five banking secrets, including:

1. Banks Can Take Money from Deposit Accounts Without Permission

A bank's “right of setoff” tops GoBankingRates' list, which grants banks the authority to withdraw money, without notice, from a customer’s deposit account if the customer defaults on a loan from the same institution.

Jennifer Calonia, editor of GoBankingRates explains how customers can protect themselves from a bank’s right of setoff:

“The best thing to do to avoid a right of setoff is to make timely payments toward the loan — avoiding default is the only 100 percent guarantee that you won’t lose money via a setoff,” says Ms. Calonia.

2. Debit Cards Are Dangerous

While swiping a debit card is convenient for most bank customers, it is also puts them at greater risk of financial loss in the case of fraud.

The Federal Trade Commission states that a credit card holder's maximum liability under federal law is just $50. However, a lost or stolen debit card must be reported within two business days to limit liability to $50, otherwise making the cardholder liable for up to $500 in fraudulent charges.

"By choosing the credit option and signing for your purchase, you are protecting yourself from fraudulent activity under Visa or MasterCard's liability terms," advises Ms. Calonia.

Other banking secrets in the report include insight into bank fees, credit card rates, and bank tellers.

To view the complete list of banking secrets click here.
For questions about this report or to schedule an interview with a GoBankingRates editor, please use the contact information below.

About GoBankingRates

GoBankingRates.com is a national website dedicated to connecting readers with the best interest rates on financial services nationwide, as well as informative personal finance content, news and tools. GoBankingRates collects interest rate information from more than 4,000 U.S. banks and credit unions, making it the only online rates aggregator with the ability to provide the most comprehensive and authentic local interest rate information.


Jaime Catmull, Director of Public Relations
310.297.9233 x261


[Sources: CapGemini, 2012 World Retail Banking Report, 2012; FDIC, PART 205—ELECTRONIC FUND TRANSFERS (REGULATION E), April 29, 2012.]

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Jaime Catmull
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