In a bid to oppose bank fees for US consumers, 65 American banks and credit unions have embarked on a campaign for free checking accounts.

Executives of each bank signed a ‘Declaration of Free Checking’, timed to coincide with US Independence Day celebrations.

The petition – written on a scroll to look like the Declaration of Independence – was signed exclusively by local banks, with most participants having just one branch.

More than 60% of US banks do not offer free checking accounts, and the average cost to the consumer is $140 annually, according to data from

But while the Fourth of July might be a part of American history, these local banks insisted free consumer accounts are not – each of the 65 branches offer free checking and online banking to its customers.

The 65 banks and credit unions belong to a community banking group Kasasa, an online resource for consumers to search for low-cost local banks. Kasasa CEO Gabe Krajicek said: "The ‘Declaration’ proves the undying commitment of local banks and credit unions to serving consumers’ best interests."

David Krause from Pioneer, a local bank in Minnesota, said that US consumers had a right to use a bank account free of charge: "People who give us their hard earned money aren’t just making a deposit at our bank."

Krause added: "We believe free checking is a fundamental right that all Americans deserve."


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