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ICBA to Conferees: “Compromise” on Interchange Price Controls Is No Compromise

Washington, D.C. (June 22, 2010)—Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine issued the following statement in reaction to the newly released language modifying the Senate’s harmful interchange language.

“Congress is on the verge of legislating a complete transformation of the debit card industry without having held a single hearing on the pending proposal. The interchange amendment as passed by the Senate would have proven disastrous to community banks and their customers. This new ‘compromise’ proposal would compound the harm by imposing new and onerous burdens on debit card issuers, and would fail in any way to adequately account for the significant operational costs and losses incurred by community banks due to merchant fraud and data breaches. This 'compromise' is no compromise.

“Our nation’s consumers expect to be able to conduct transactions using a debit card and our nation’s retailers reap enormous benefits from the ease and security of this payments technology. Now is not the time to change this proven system just so big-box merchants can reap higher profits and pass their costs of doing business on to America’s consumers. ICBA is extremely disappointed with and strongly opposed to this ‘compromise’ language, and urges House and Senate conferees on H.R. 4173 to remove this misguided price control model from the Wall Street reform legislation.”