Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Q What Are the Challenges? an Interview with Ken Clayton, Chief Counsel and SVP of Legislative Affairs

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Q What Are the Challenges? an Interview with Ken Clayton, Chief Counsel and SVP of Legislative Affairs

Article excerpt

ABABJ: You were deeply involved in the debit-card interchange fight. How happy are you with the outcome?

Ken Clayton: I'm really pleased that the industry spoke with one voice and the impact that had. Reducing lost revenue at banks by up to $4.5 billion a year is an achievement the industry should be proud of. But there's no sugar-coating this--the lost revenue from the Durbin Amendment is a horrible result for banks. What troubles me most is the impact this will have on banks' ability to serve their communities. This is a big deal, and it comes at a really bad time.

ABABJ: How has credit card reform, another issue you were very involved with, affected banks?

KC: It forced the industry to take a close look at itself and the perceptions policymakers and customers had of some of our practices. At the end of the day, card reform ensures that customers get greater clarity on what's involved in using credit cards and greater protection, as some of the more controversial practices disappear. In the end it will benefit all banks that offer consumer services.

ABABJ: You and James Ballentine will get new responsibilities when ABA's chief lobbyist, Floyd Stoner, retires at yearend. What are the biggest challenges?

KC: James and I are looking forward to this opportunity to serve the industry. Floyd's is a tough act to follow, but both James and I have had a lot of experience meeting with bankers, and we will apply bankers' insights in ways that benefit the industry. One of our biggest challenges is helping policymakers appreciate the enormous role that banks of all sizes play in the local community and the economy as a whole. Bankers across the country, working with ABA and the state bankers associations, need to engage in the policy process and put a real face on the problems faced in serving the local communities. …

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