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ICBA: Unintended Consequences of Senate Credit Card Bill Mean Less Choice, Higher Costs for America’s Consumers

Washington, D.C. (May 19, 2009)—Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today issued this statement following Senate passage of the credit card practices bill (H.R. 627).

“ICBA fears this credit card legislation will lead to less choice, increased costs and higher interest rates for America’s consumers during this time of economic turmoil when availability of credit is needed most. While unintended, the legislation will have adverse ramifications on creditworthy borrowers who will be restricted or denied access to credit. These actions are counterproductive, especially during this critical time when consumers in cities and towns throughout America are feeling the pain of our nation’s economic crisis.

“Community banks are common sense lenders that offer credit and debit cards on fair terms as a means of providing valuable services to their customers. ICBA is concerned that the provisions added to this measure go beyond the scope of recently adopted federal rules which protect consumers from unfair credit card practices, and therefore, will lead to unintended consequences for consumers and the more than 8,000 community banks that serve them.

“While disappointed in the overall legislation, ICBA does appreciate that the Senate chose not to include an interchange amendment in the bill that would have ultimately led to even more increased costs to consumers.

“ICBA will continue working with Congress and the administration to ensure that any new credit card laws do not impose increased costs and burdens on America’s consumers.”

For more information, go to www.icba.org.

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