Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Ready for Your Close-Up?

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Ready for Your Close-Up?

Article excerpt

Q An interview with Nessa Feddis, senior counsel, ABA Center for Regulatory Compliance

ABABJ: You cover consumer protection regulation and the payments systems, including fraud. Has your job gotten easier or harder?

Nessa Feddis: It's gotten broader. Consumer protection regs have expanded so much. There are many more of us now at ABA who stay on top of specific aspects of this area.

ABABJ: Because your area affects consumers directly, you've done a fair number of TV interviews--some of them very tough. Are they as difficult to do as they seem?

NF: I've gotten fairly comfortable with them, especially the live ones. Some of the interviews in which they cut and paste are nerve-wracking because what I said is not necessarily what they include. In some cases the stories are written in advance and they just want to plug in a quote. In one instance they completely ignored the facts that I showed them that proved the point I was making. At the same time, I have a better appreciation of the constraints the reporters are under. They may have one minute to cover a topic. All I ask for is a fair chance to tell our side of the story.

ABABJ: Has that gotten harder to do?

NF: Sensationalism sells. They're losing viewers so they're trying hard to attract any kind of audience that attracts advertisers, and it cycles downhill from there.

ABABJ: Are some issues easier to defend than others?

NF: ATM surcharge fees are easy to defend. Customers shouldn't have to subsidize non-customers, and banks, like any business, have to recover costs. I'm a capitalist at heart. To be successful long term, revenue has to be higher than expenses. …

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