ICBA - News - News Release - ICBA: Tester/Corker Amendment Protects Small Debit Card Issuers and Their Customers
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ICBA: Tester/Corker Amendment Protects Small Debit Card Issuers and Their Customers

Represents a bi-partisan compromise

Washington, D.C. (June 7, 2011)-The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) released this statement after Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) filed a critical debit card interchange amendment that would protect small issuers and delay the harmful Federal Reserve proposed rule on debit interchange for one year.

"Main Street cannot afford unnecessary regulation that will harm consumers by taking more money out of their pockets.  The Tester/Corker debit interchange amendment filed today effectively addresses community bank concerns and we strongly support the latest changes made to the legislation.  The addition of a new regulatory oversight mechanism to examine the payments system on an on-going basis for signs of anticompetitive or discriminatory practices will help protect community banks and ensure their ability to continue to offer debit cards to consumers. Furthermore, this compromise amendment would finally give Congress and banking regulators the necessary time and framework they need to adequately study the payments system to determine what sort of effect regulation of debit interchange fees would have on consumers and community banks.

"Community banks are also pleased that the amendment puts a one-year halt on the Fed's flawed proposed rule, which would implement the Durbin amendment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  If implemented, this rule would have devastating effects on Main Street, so a one-year reprieve is a step in the right direction.

"ICBA would like to thank Senators Tester and Corker, as well as Sens. Hagan (D-N.C.), Carper (D-Del.), Crapo (R-Idaho), Blunt (R-Mo.), Kyl (R-Ariz.), Coons (D-Del.) and Bennet (D-Colo.) for cosponsoring this critical amendment.  We encourage all senators to support this sensible legislation, and look forward to this issue being taken up by the House very soon."

For more information about this issue or to speak with an ICBA staff expert, please contact Aleis Stokes at (202) 821-4457 or visit http://www.icba.org/