Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

You Kept Us in the Game and Influenced the Outcome

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

You Kept Us in the Game and Influenced the Outcome

Article excerpt

I'm writing this column to say "Thank You" to the hundreds of thousands of bankers whose letters, e-mails, phone calls, and personal visits made a difference for all of us on the debit card interchange debate.

You kept us in the game.

Along with the leadership of our state bankers associations, whose tireless efforts helped us influence public policy, you demonstrated again the vital importance of engagement. And you showed us what a unified industry can do.

No, we couldn't secure a legislative fix to the Durbin Amendment. Bur we did persuade a majority of the Senate to support legislation introduced by Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) to stop, study, and fix the misguided provision. And that broad, bipartisan support, coupled with your comment letters, dramatically affected the outcome of the Federal Reserve Board's 378-page rule, which practically doubles the 12-cent cap initially proposed.

That's a terrific accomplishment that helps take some of the sting out of what remains very troubling: government imposed price controls. The fact remains that while the Fed's final rule does less damage than its proposed rule, banks are still facing a 45% revenue loss on debit card interchange. We also remain very concerned about marketplace pressures that could drive interchange rates down for all banks, despite Congress' intention to protect community banks. …

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