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ICBA Supports Clear and Simple Credit Card Disclosures

Disclosures Will Demonstrate Value of Community Bank Credit Cards

Washington, D.C. (October 15, 2007)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) told the Federal Reserve in a comment letter that while proposed changes to credit card disclosure rules will require substantial time and effort to implement, the changes will benefit consumers when they shop for a credit card by highlighting that community banks offer straightforward credit card terms that are not subject to frequent change.

"Fundamentally, the changes will benefit community bank customers, and consumers in general," said Karen Thomas, ICBA executive vice president and director of government relations. "Clearer and more simple disclosures will ensure consumers are fully informed about the terms of their credit cards and will demonstrate that community banks offer credit cards with lower rates, lower fees and fewer penalties and junk fees."

The hallmark of community banking is a customer relationship built on trust and the fundamental basis for the Federal Reserve's proposed changes are fully compatible with that, ICBA said in its comment letter on the proposed rules.

ICBA agreed that the proposed changes will help to ensure credit card disclosure information is presented clearly, concisely and in easily understood formats such as a summary table. In addition, the changes will ensure that important card features-such as interest rates, fees and other key information-are highlighted in the disclosures consumers receive in a way that calls attention to these particular features.

ICBA also urged the Federal Reserve to incorporate sufficient flexibility in the final rule to allow community banks to adapt to new technologies and changing markets. This is especially important considering the rapidly evolving delivery channels for credit cards and other banking services.

Read ICBA's credit card disclosure comment letter at www.icba.org.