WASHINGTON D.C. - While the U.S. Senate continues to draft legislation aimed at protecting taxpayers from banks and lenders, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is looking to protect North Country families from bank fees.
In a statement released by Gillibrand's office, the Democratic senator noted that many banks nationwide are introducing fees for customers who don't switch to paperless electronic billing.
Gillibrand says this punishes approximately 2 million New York households that don't have access to the Internet.
In the North Country alone, an estimated 60,000 households aren't hooked up to the web.
"Thousands of seniors and families in this area do not have adequate access to the Internet," Gillibrand said. "Thousands more are simply not comfortable reviewing their finances electronically."
She adds New Yorkers shouldn't be punished for wanting to receive bank statements in the mail.
"My legislation will make sure that financial institutions cannot take advantage of Seniors or struggling families by imposing more fees," Gillibrand said.
The amendment to the financial regulatory reform bill would empower the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to prohibit banks from charging consumers fees for accessing paper statements.