ICBA Opposes Proposed Interchange Price Fixing

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Calling on community bankers to weigh in on the issue, ICBA said the Federal Reserve Board's proposal-released last month for public comment-to implement debit interchange price-fixing and routing requirements enacted under the Wall Street Reform Act would greatly harm consumers and Main Street America. ICBA, which has long and consistently opposed any form of government interchange price fixing, is working with the Federal Reserve to minimize the bad policy consequences of this 176-page proposal on community banks and the customers they serve.

"While we recognize the constraints placed on the Federal Reserve by the misguided Durbin Amendment to the Wall Street Reform Act," says Karen Thomas, ICBA's senior executive vice president of government relations and public policy, "the fact remains that if implemented as outlined today, this rule will unquestionably lead to more consumer fees, fewer product choices and greater consumer confusion regarding card acceptance."

The proposed new Regulation II, Debit-Card Interchange Fees and Routing, would establish standards for determining whether a debit card interchange fee received by a card issuer is reasonable and proportional to the cost incurred by the issuer for the transaction. These standards would apply to issuers that, together with their affiliates, have assets of $10 billion or more. Certain government- administered payment programs and reloadable general- use prepaid cards would be exempt from the interchange fee limitations. …