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ICBA Statement on Senate Interchange Legislation

Washington, D.C. (June 9, 2008)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine issued the following statement upon the introduction by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) of the Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2008 (S. 3086):

"ICBA strongly opposes the legislation introduced by Sen. Durbin. This measure, just like its counterpart in the House, which purports to help America's consumers, is instead a governmental attempt to intrude and set prices on a system that is already working well.

"Our nation's payment system works by allowing consumers to use credit cards in a convenient and secure way, and by giving merchants guaranteed payments, fraud protection and a faster and safer sales transaction. The current interchange system allows community banks to compete on equal footing with the largest financial institutions through debit and credit card products and services, bundled with the long-term relationship-building services unique to community banks.

"The existing interchange system offers benefits to all participants. This legislation would ultimately harm those it seeks to protect by limiting consumer choice and stifling competition. No one wins when there are fewer choices and less competition."